The Scandal of Holiness:
Renewing your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints

Jessica Hooten Wilson, Brazos Press, 2022 (208 pp)

The invitation of good literature is to surrender ourselves to a story, to step away from daily routines and enter another world where we can encounter characters, some of whom become good friends. Our imaginations are formed by the stories we read and the narratives we choose to live in.

Literature has the capacity to mirror back to us who we are as well as open possibilities for who we might become. In this book you will meet authors who are familiar; Flannery O’Connor, C.S. Lewis, Toni Morrison or E. Wiesel, and some less familiar; Zora Neale Hurston, Sigrid Undset, or Eugene Vodolazkin. Each is considered for the way in which their writing may prompt the reader toward holiness.

There is much in this book that has a prophetic edge, challenging the status quo, such as the chapter titled “Liberating Prophets” or another on “Creation Care as a Holy Calling.” At the end of each chapter is a “devotional” quote from one of the authors, a biblical passage, some questions for reflection a few works for further reading. Wilson draws insights found in the stories she discusses and puts them to work in real life situations.