Thomas Gardner in Christianity and LiteratureMarch 7th, 2012 by admin
Jordan Cofer reviews Gardner's John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination with words like fascinating, unique, innovative, compelling, and thought provoking. These all describe the careful, interpretive nature of Gardner's book, which takes readers through the Gopsel of John with a literary lens.
As Gardner explicates the gospel, readers are able to understand Jesus' ministry. However, while some readers may pick up this study strictly for analysis of selected poems, Gardner argues that it is impossible to divorce these poems from their biblical counterpart. Of course, this turns out to be a good thing, since Gardner's close-reading of the gospel is extremely enlightening. As both a scholar and a poet, he provides unique insight into the Gospel of John. As a scholar, he gives a very thorough and researched reading of the gospel. Yet as a poet, Gardner demonstrates that "poets are our best readers," as he is able to breath life into the most tired passages of the gospel...
One of the biggest praises from Christianity and Literature is that John in the Company of Poets is a readable and engaging study, which ditches the "academicese." Find the full review in Christianity and Literature, Autumn 2011 61.1.