Prayer is natural for human beings, a spontaneous impulse common in all people. Yet, beyond instinct, there is a kind of prayer that's conscious and articulate, that we have to be taught. There is an "art of prayer," when faith and prayer become creative responses by which creatures made in the image and likeness of the Creator relate to him with help of the imagination. Timothy Verdon explores these essential interactions in this magnificent book. Richly illustrated, Monsignor Verdon explains that images work in believers as tools that teach them how to turn to God. Art and Prayer explores these interactions in detail, demonstrating that prayer can become a fruit of the sanctified imagination - a way of beauty and turning to God.
In this eloquent, accessible, and gorgeously illustrated volume, Timothy Verdon unites his multiple vocations as art historian, theologian, and priest. With the ease of a master teacher who has lived with his material for years, he shows us not only how the faithful have been depicted in prayer, but how such depictions can inspire our own praying. Verdon should be required reading for anyone who wants to how theology can animate art and in turn by animated by it. Above all, Art and Prayer is a call to worship. Peter S. Hawkins
Professor of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School "While Timothy Verdon's immense erudition in the European tradition of sacred art is everywhere apparent, this book is written for non-specialist readers willing to allow their practice of Christian prayer - both in liturgy and in personal devotion - to be enriched and given theological precision through art once intended for such work. My hope is surely that of Mons. Verdon himself: that this book may help to inspire both artists and their communities to create new art that is answerable to the various modes of prayer and worship, so that a book such as Verdon's could be written a generation hence with examples drawn from artworks newly commissioned for the contemporary church." Dr. John Skillen, director of the Studio for Art, Faith & History in Orvieto (Italy)