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Publisher's Summary

In this classic book, Madeleine L’Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L’Engle’s beautiful and insightful essay, listeners will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one’s own art.

©2018 Madeleine L'Engle (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Featured Article: 30+ Quotes About Creativity to Inspire Your Process


No matter what field you’re in—be it art, writing, science, tech, or sales—coming up with creative ideas can be frustrating. But here’s the reassuring truth: every single creative has struggled with the same fears. Fortunately, many have documented their experiences, leaving us the words we need to hear when we really feel stuck. We’ve compiled this handy list of creativity quotes from people in all different fields to help guide and inspire you.

What listeners say about Walking on Water

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A beautiful, masterful meditation on Christian art

This book was utterly refreshing to listen to/read. It is one of the best books I've finished this year. It was so wonderful to hear such a refreshing take on the intersection between true art and true faith. Highly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

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great listen

A very positive approach to a writers love of writing. Also gave insight into Madeline LEngle's family and daily life. Her spirituality was important to her and she read something every day that was spiritual and positive.

7 people found this helpful

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It is about Being

This is my second time through this book. It does not disappoint. If you have always wanted to know Madeleine L’Engle better this is a great read! If you are an artist this is a Must read. I’m an artist. Again I am energized to get back into the work and see what happens!

5 people found this helpful

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Musings on Christianity and Art

Walking on Water is a book that it is hard not to hear about if you are in circles where you interact with Christian who write professionally. I have been hearing about the book for years, but Sarah Arthur’s recent biography of L’Engle reminded me again about how many writers (and other artists as well) were impacted not just by L’Engle’s art, but by her speaking and writing about the role of art in the Christian life.

In many ways Walking on Water is like a fifth volume of the Crosswick Journals. It is not as full of personal stories as the Crosswick Journals, but it was first published in 1982, between books three and four of the Crosswick Journals (Irrational Season in 1977 and Two-Part Invention in 1988). Walking on Water has a similar sense of listening to an older friend share wisdom about life. It is more focused on writing, but there are definitely overlapping themes with A Circle of Quiet (first book in Crosswick Journals).

Writing is more of a means of processing than as an art form for me. I do not edit as much as I should. So the thoughts on writing were not really my focus. This is a book that was written to be read and re-read. There is wisdom here, but like a lot of books of wisdom, there is some vagueness where the reader has to read into the text.

Walking on Water is the first of L’Engle’s books I have read after reading Arthur’s biography. Arthur had a helpful structure for writing about L’Engle’s contrasts (or paradoxes). Part of the paradox of L’Engle was her ability to mold the reality around her in ways that was not always ‘historically accurate’ but did show as aspect of truth that may not have been able to be shown without her shaping. That shaping of the world around her is hard to miss after Arthur pointed it out.

Walking on Water is a book I appreciated, but did not love as much as what many other do. I think that is in part because I am not an artist at heart but a consumer of art. Art is essential, but I am not a creator. Also, at this point there is an enormous amount of the content of Walking on Water that has leaked out of Walking on Water into other books that I have read since it was published 36 years ago. We are in time that values art better than some other eras. It is not perfect by any means, but I do think that L’Engle has strongly influenced the way that Christians receive and participate in art, in part because of this book. Walking on Water is worth reading. But, at least on this first reading, it was not a dramatic revelation to me, and I think that is largely a good thing, and at least partially the result of Walking on Water being a dramatic revelations to previous readers.

3 people found this helpful

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A book of freedom and affirmation for artists

This will be one of those books that I will read over and over for the rest of my career.

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A must for the believing artist

Madeline’s insight on living at the intersection of faith and art has been a wonderful “watering” of my soul. As both a creative and a person of Christ centered faith, I have struggled to understand my place in the world as both a person of faith and creative work. I especially love her discussion on undoing and being aware of the “dirty devices” that rob us from experiencing and creating true art. I have been greatly helped by her discussion on the “work” of the art and making the difference between drudgery and true work. She highlights the fact that children at play have put all their energies into it and are indeed “working” but there is delight in their work and encourages the reader to make the distinction. Pamela Almand did a fantastic job and now I am going to listen to it for the second time.

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Wise and quotable!

This book is full of wisdom and quotable quotes. The presentation feels a bit disjunct, but it is jam-packed full of fantastic insight and powerful quotes and truths and inspiration. It is worth reading and underlining notable passages. I recommend it for all riders and people of faith who are artists and creators in any way.

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Omg.. I only read it because I had to for a class.

It’s more of an autobiography of all the author has read and uses quotes from others extensively. It was a boring book. Only about 3 thought provoking ideas pop out at me.. not worth the long book. Sorry..

3 people found this helpful