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Encounters with God: In Quest of the Ancient Icons of Mary [Hardcover]

Sister Wendy Beckett
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 Jun 2012
Sister Wendy leads us on a ""pilgrimage of desire"" to view the earliest surviving Icons of Mary. ""These early images of Mary seem to me to have the power to shock us out of our complacency, to make us look anew at what the birth of Jesus meant, and means. . .""  In this compelling story of discovery and spiritual adventure, Sister Wendy Beckett, a contemplative nun and beloved art commentator, travels from England, to Rome, to Ukraine, and finally to a remote monastery in Sinai, to view the earliest Icons of Mary.
These are among the few Icons that survived the wholesale destruction of Icons in the early eighth century. In contrast with the familiar and magnificent Icons of later history, these early Icons have a haunting simplicity and unfamiliar spiritual power. ""They are drawing us out of our worldly reality into their world, the true world, summoning us to leave behind all that is earthly and to breathe an air more pure than we can understand. Icons are for prayer. They are painted in prayer and their intention is to take us into a state of prayer"".  They come to us from a time closer to that of Christ, when faith was still alive with wonder, and possibilities were infinite.
In the course of her pilgrimage, Sister Wendy also reviews the history of Christian art, the meaning and function of Icons, and shares her thoughts on the relation between beauty, prayer, and the search for God. In her quest for these ancient Icons, she feels that she has encountered something greater than an image: ""I have called it an encounter with God, because that is truly what it was for me, and what I hope it will be for you, too.""
Encounters with God is beautifully presented with 65 full colour illustrations throughout.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum; First Edition edition (21 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826441785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826441782
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Sister Wendy draws us in to share her pilgrimage.  Her enthusiasm is contagious as she braves the gusts of frozen snow in Ukraine, crosses the bleak Sinai desert, even climbs scaffolding to glimpse the precious art within a monastery.  As she shares what she sees in these ancient works of art we are drawn yet again into deep reflection so that our own faith in her words is irradiated with the light that we see in the faith of the early Christians. --Delia Smith,Title mention in Artist & Illustrators.

About the Author

Sister Wendy became a nun at the age of 16, went on to live for nearly 20 years as a hermit, and then was exposed to the world in a successful television career as the 'art nun'. She is the author of over 20 books with art as the main theme. She continues to live a largely cloistered life, devoted to prayer.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Personal View 1 Aug 2009
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This is a charming book. It is written from a very personal perspective and as such is not 'scholarly'. No illustrations can do justice to the originals of any artworks, so the reader may not share the author's enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm is infectious, and can lead one into a state of contemplation, especially if one has an Icon. There are interesting facts, but they are not explored as fully as one might like, but that is inherent in the nature of the book
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Encounter with God is a box of unusual depth Sr. Wendy Becketts carries you thro with her own brand of enthusiasm into a past which we know so little about
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sister Wendy 5 Feb 2013
By Prinny
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Amazing character!!!

Wendy Beckett is a Nation Treasure

I would dearly love to go to a Museum with her---she is so knowlegdable
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