“The characteristic common to God and man is apparently. . .
the desire and ability to make things.” Dorothy Sayers
Would you consider joining a group of like-minded folks as we read through The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers? Although it may not be the typical book on your summer reading list, that’s a great reason to read along with a group. I’m already a few chapters in, and am itching to hear what others have to say. We have so much to learn so much from one another.
Sayers was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and her insights are highly relevant to us today. For those who are unfamiliar with the book, the back cover states:
“This classic, with a new introduction by Madeleine L’Engle, is by turns an entrancing meditation on language; a piercing commentary on the nature of art and why so much of what we read, fear, and see falls short; and a brilliant examination of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. The Mind of the Maker will be relished by those already in love with Dorothy Sayers and those who have not yet met her.
A mystery writer, a witty and perceptive theologian, culture critic, and playwright, Dorothy L. Sayers sheds new, unexpected light on a specific set of statements made in the Christian creeds. She examines anew such ideas as the image of God, the Trinity, free will, and evil, and in these pages a wholly revitalized understanding of them emerges. The author finds the key in the parallels between the creation of God and the human creative process, and continually refers to each in a way that illuminates both.”
I’ve asked a few folks to share their thoughts:
“I’d had a hunch for a long time that there was an underlying connection between our human creativity and the manner in which we were, ourselves, created. But it wasn’t until I read Dorothy Sayers’s The Mind of the Maker that I felt anyone had really articulated precisely why this might be so and why it might be so important. As I read, I found myself nodding in almost constant agreement, often stabbing a finger at the page and proclaiming “Yes, that’s it exactly! That’s what it feels like to create!” And to my great delight, she describes the process with, not only great wisdom, but sharp wit.
Dorothy was quite a woman and far from perfect. She’d stand out boldly and scandalously in our own generation, so you can imagine just how large she must have loomed in her own day–a day in which women had to fight tooth and nail to be taken seriously by the academic establishment. Part of what I so admire about the book is how carefully she builds her arguments and attends to her detractors. You can almost imagine the voices of the stuffy, misogynistic world around her poking holes in her thesis while Dorothy–severe, opinionated, and undaunted–sits hunched over her desk fearlessly plugging up those logical holes with the insight and wisdom of a modern-day sage. In reading The Mind of the Maker I fell in love not merely with the work itself, but, in the end, with the fierceness and audacity of its matchless author.” Pete Peterson
“The Mind of the Maker unpacks Dorothy Sayers’s view of the creativity trinity. She breaks the creative process down into Idea (the unseen image which guides), Energy (the outworking of an idea into form), and Power (the connectivity between art and viewer). Sayers believed this creative triad permeates the artistic world because it follows the structure of the Creator Himself: Father (the unseen Idea), Son (the physical manifestation of Idea), and Spirit (the connective force between God and humanity). Sayers’s work is a tightly woven masterpiece, encompassing philosophy as well as diagnostics.” Rebecca Reynolds
There are a few different ways to participate:
~ If you’re on Facebook, there is a new “Greener Trees Reads” closed group, which is ironically open to anyone who would like to join. Just send a message to me (or leave a message on the Greener Trees FB page) and you’ll be added to the group.
~ Or, you can join the conversation via Blog updates. Details to come, but you can start by letting us know “you’re in” in the comments section.
~ If you live in Charlotte, we’ll provide a few meeting options during the summer where we can get together and discuss as well. Time and place TBD.
Introduction, Chapters 1-2 by June 15th
Chapters 3 – 4 by June 22nd
Chapters 5 – 6 by June 29th
Chapters 7 – 8 by July 13th
Chapters 9 – 11 by July 27th
*I’ve been warned that the first few chapters are fairly dense, but well worth the time invested – hang in there.
There are none. But I’d ask that we focus on “what is stirred in me” rather than “what I do or don’t agree with.” We each bring a unique story and perspective to the group. All are welcome. All are valued.
Even if you can only join us for a part of the summer, your insights and comments will teach and encourage others.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and pass the information along to anyone who may be interested. This is my first time to jump into such a venture, so we’ll be learning together. Thanks in advance for grace and flexibility!
The Mind of the Maker is available at The Rabbit Room store.