Downing, Crystal L.

views updated

Downing, Crystal L.

PERSONAL:

Education: University of California at Santa Barbara, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of English, Messiah College, 1 College Ave., Grantham, PA 17027. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Messiah College, Grantham, PA, associate professor of English and film studies.

WRITINGS:

Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2004.

How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art, IVP Academic (Downers Grove, IL), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Postmodern Culture, Religion and the Arts, Books and Culture, College Literature, and Literature/Film Quarterly.

SIDELIGHTS:

Crystal L. Downing advances "a thoughtful, compelling and non-defensive reflection on Christian witness in a pluralistic world" in her book How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art, according to a writer for the Catholic Books Review Web site. The book begins with the author's personal story of faith. She recounts how postmodernism, though feared by some Christians, actually helped her to rediscover her Christian faith, amid a secular culture that did not support that faith. She then takes her theme to a more intellectual level, recounting the origins of postmodernism, found in modernism; postmodern developments in the arts; and the rise of Radical Orthodoxy and neopragmatism. It might seem that postmodernist thought would be destructive to Christian orthodoxy, but Downing explains how postmodern thought in fact discredits the modernist critics of Christianity. In the remainder of her book, she reflects on Christian truth and Christian confession in the postmodern age. Mark Smith, a reviewer for Foreword Magazine Online, found that, at times, the book oversimplifies the issues it explores, but he nevertheless stated that the author's "insights into philosophy and Christianity are largely trustworthy." Smith felt that Downing should be "commended for her attempt to help evangelicals overcome the fear-driven approach to culture." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also praised the book as a "lucid" discussion of a difficult topic, and concluded: "This is a winsome introduction to postmodernism."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2006, review of How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art, p. 67.

ONLINE

Catholic Books Review,http://catholicbooksreview.org/ (May 17, 2007), review of How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith.

ForeWord Magazine Online,http://www.forewordmagazine.com/ (May 17, 2007), Mark Smith, review of How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith.

Messiah College Web site,http://www.messiah.edu/ (May 17, 2007), biographical information about Crystal L. Downing.

About this article

Downing, Crystal L.

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article