Penguins and Golden Calves: Icons and Idols in Antarctica and Other Unexpected Places

Penguins and Golden Calves Icons and Idols in Antarctica and Other Unexpected Places Despite protests and warnings from friends and family author Madeleine L Engle at the age of seventy four embarked on a rafting trip to Antarctica Her journey through the startling beauty of the co

Despite protests and warnings from friends and family, author Madeleine L Engle, at the age of seventy four, embarked on a rafting trip to Antarctica Her journey through the startling beauty of the continent led her to write Penguins and Golden Calves, a captivating discussion of how opening oneself up to icons, or everyday windows to God, leads to the development of aDespite protests and warnings from friends and family, author Madeleine L Engle, at the age of seventy four, embarked on a rafting trip to Antarctica Her journey through the startling beauty of the continent led her to write Penguins and Golden Calves, a captivating discussion of how opening oneself up to icons, or everyday windows to God, leads to the development of a rich and deeply spiritual faith Here, L Engle explains how ordinary things such as family, words, the Bible, heaven, and even penguins can become such windows She also shows how such a window becomes an idol a penguin becomes a golden calf when we see it as a reflection of itself instead of God With delightful language, insightful metaphor, and personal stories, L Engle brings readers to a deeper understanding of themselves, their faith, and the presence of God in their daily lives.

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Penguins and Golden Calves: Icons and Idols in Antarctica and Other Unexpected Places

  1. Madeleine L Engle was an American writer best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regeneration in The Arm of the Starfish, and so forth Madeleine was born on November 29th, 1918, and spent her formative years in New York City Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories, poems and journals for herself, which was reflected in her grades not the best However, she was not discouraged.At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, vacationing with her mother in a rambling old beach cottage on a beautiful stretch of Florida Beach.She went to Smith College and studied English with some wonderful teachers as she read the classics and continued her own creative writing She graduated with honors and moved into a Greenwich Village apartment in New York She worked in the theater, where Equity union pay and a flexible schedule afforded her the time to write She published her first two novels during these years A Small Rain and Ilsa before meeting Hugh Franklin, her future husband, when she was an understudy in Anton Chekov s The Cherry Orchard They married during The Joyous Season.She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with cows than people They bought a dead general store, and brought it to life for 9 years They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career The family has kept the country house, Crosswicks, and continues to spend summers there.As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life Madeleine began her association with the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, where she has been the librarian and maintained an office for than thirty years After Hugh s death in 1986, it was her writing and lecturing that kept her going She has now lived through the 20th century and into the 21st and has written over 60 books and keeps writing She enjoys being with her friends, her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren uscmillan author madeleCopyright 2007 Crosswicks, Ltd Madeleine L Engle, President

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  1. Madeleine L Engle, an icon herself, ruminates on iconography and idolatry, the relationship between penguins icons and golden calves idols and how such particulars have played and worked out in her own writing life story Preaching to the choir of art, faith, and mystery as well as trying to connect and find common ground with the fundamentalist and literalist crowd Reflections via ramblings and repetitions Some really wonderful words of wisdom at times Where in the world is Antarctica

  2. Idols an enticing concept, and L Engle has sussed the situation I felt as if she was preaching to the choir with this one, and at the same time, she had a decidedly saucy tone, as if she was looking to defend something.It s pretty obvious that in doing all those writers workshops and giving talks, she encountered than her fair share of spite and contention in the name of Jesus Her rebuttals go from near heresy and back to Biblical, all the time sifting out the lies like chaff until only the gra [...]

  3. Although this was scattered at a bit rambly at times, I can t deny how powerful much of its content is especially the last third This book was exactly what I needed at this time in my life I love when that happens.

  4. L Engle s thoughts were a little scattered and disjointed at times, making the book hard to follow However the nuggets of absolute wisdom she provides are worth the read Even 20 years after it s first publication, this book is so relevant today.

  5. This is another of L Engle s journal style pieces of non fiction The unifying thread of this book is a discussion of the difference between icons and idols and icons L Engle has found useful in her life.According to L Engle, an icon gives greater insight to God An icon does not have to come from a religious source L Engle gives one example of how penguins became an icon for her during her trip to Antarctica Seeing the highly social but non intimate penguin communities gave her insight into the d [...]

  6. Penguins and Golden Calves was not what I expected This is what comes from choosing books one had never before heard about based on a one sentence description I was expecting an exploration of how God is revealed through nature, how elements of His creation can be icons for us, how we can see God with new eyes when we marvel at the wonders of His creation.In her opening chapter, L Engle gives us her definition of an icon My personal definition is much wider, and the simplest way I can put it int [...]

  7. I really enjoyed parts of it, and then other parts were eh I expected L Engle to sound like less of a grouchy grandmother, but then, she was in her 80s, so I m not sure why I was surprised But the latter half of the book became spiritual, in the best of ways, and at the end of one of the chapters can t remember which she wrote out a sort of prayer, and it was impossible not to stop and pray that prayer a few times over It was pretty great, to say the least.I wish I could give it four stars may [...]

  8. 2 2.5 starsOne of L Engle s less powerful works There is discussion of icons, windows into the reality of God s creation the feminine aspect of God which was very interesting bits and pieces of her life and travels, particularly her trip to Antarctica, and reflections on our world and society.There just wasn t much this time that touched me or resonated, helping me to look at things in a new light or reflect as I have found in some of her other works.I won t be picking it up again and I don t re [...]

  9. Madeleine L Engle has been on the fringes of my awareness over many years of Christian book reading I did read, and enjoy Wrinkle in Time a very long time ago This book was written 11 years ago, when she was 77 and it s a retrospective of her life and her theology I m going to give it to a friend who is planning a trip with her mother to the Antartic sometime in the next year There are lots of penguin facts throughout the book.I m glad I read it, as it helps me to understand some of her statemen [...]

  10. This book was given to me over a decade ago and so I thought it was time to read it At first, I was impressed but after a while I got tired of the author s references to literalists and fundalits as people you wouldn t want to know She seemed to think it was wrong to take the Bible too literally although she expressed, at the same time, a love for God s Word She s a poet and seems to see Scripture only in that light Her understanding of God s love I would say is not biblical She interprets Jesus [...]

  11. I m putting this one under couldn t read though I might try again some day.I like Madeleine L Engle in concept a good writer who lived her faith However, this book like Circle of Quiet is from her journal and, unfortunately, reads like one introspective, reminiscent, rambling, stream of conscious Yes, L Engle has some beautiful thoughts worth sharing But you need to watch closely for them, since they re buried in random thoughts, including some questionable theology, some society is much worse t [...]

  12. M L Engle, now in her 70s, writes a book about icons in every day life and how easily icons can become idols I really liked how she defined icons as anything or person or relationship etc who opens a window to God I realized that I have many icons in my life my kids, my relationships with friends, the beauty of nature etc We make icons into idols when we overlay our expectations on them This was a chilling thought I always think of idols as statues etc it made me realize that I have many idols i [...]

  13. I previously read another work of non fiction from Madeleine L Engle as well as her popular novel, A Wrinkle in Time , and this collection of journal entries and theological musings seems rather scatterbrained in comparison However, L Engle s intelligence, imagination, and empathy shine through this work to make it something well worth reading There are snippets throughout that I have placed in a commonplace book, and certain thoughts written in these pages had me look up from my reading and jus [...]

  14. I would have liked about her trip to Antarctica, but that didn t take away from the book as a whole It is very Christian God and Jesus heavy, so readers who aren t open to that should probably not read this While I m not Christian, I am interested when someone of any religion explores their faith I found myself skimming some of the sections that delved into the trinity and all that, but there s quite a bit in here that pertains to life in general.

  15. Madeleine strikes again I cherish any words that she has ever written and this is no exception She has an amazing ability to touch on tough matters with such tenderness and humility which is very foreign She does all this with such respect for words quite unmatched This book makes the distinction between icons and idols as well as some other subjects while always coming back to the ideas of what icons are.

  16. I wanted to like this than I did I feel like I need to give it than two stars, but I don t know if I can give it threePerhaps part of the problem was that I read The Irrational Season at the beginning of the year and I was hoping this would be like that There were just too many digressions and stories I d read elsewhere and it wasn t as meditative as I found Irrational Season to be.

  17. After rereading the Wrinkle in Time series and the older offshoots, I thought I d try reading Penguins and Golden Calves, a non fiction book of Madeleine s Actually, I m slowly reading this book, savoring it in small doses as I whip through the junior fiction books needed for my job Deep, insightful, amazing so far

  18. Excellent book If this was the only book of L Engles I had read, I would have given it 4 stars However, I found it to be quite similar to some of her others That s NOT a bad thing For me it s an ongoing gleaning from her heart and soul and it continues to speak to me long after I ve put the book down Yes, I would recommend this book.

  19. My wife and I read this together She enjoyed it much than I did I felt the narrative rambled too much L Engle does offer interesting insights, but one has to be dedicated to reading all the way through each chapter to find them.

  20. I didn t realize that this book would be so Christian central I thought that it would be about religious icons in general, but this had a lot of discussion of specific scripture and such Interesting, very insightful, I liked hearing her interpretation of what she discussed.

  21. I didn t read all of it because it was a library book and I left the city I read most of it, though, and definitely want to read the rest 50 or so pages sometime soon.

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