Eyes of the Heart

Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: March 25, 2013

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In this first book to explore photography as a spiritual practice from a Christian perspective, Christine Valters Paintner builds on the process of contemplative creativity she introduced online at Abbey of the Arts and in her book The Artist’s Rule. She considers how a camera can help readers open “the eyes of the heart.”

More than a book on photographic technique, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice is about cultivating photography as a spiritual practice. Adapting the monastic practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) into a form of visio divina (sacred seeing), spiritual director and Benedictine oblate Christine Valters Paintner invites readers to a new way of viewing the world—through the lens of a camera. Paintner guides readers through six themes connecting the medium of photography with the Christian spiritual life. Each theme provides a photographic journey in which the reader does not simply take images, but receives images and learns to see with “the eyes of the heart” (Eph 1:18). Photos by the author are included.

Product Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781933495545

Imprint: Sorin Books


  • “Intimate encounter with divinity.”

    Eyes of the Heart is more than a celebration of God’s presence in the world. It is itself an experience of receiving the Divine directly within. Paintner’s insights and exercises lead the reader to a personal, intimate encounter with divinity. In the process, she also illuminates the way to self-understanding and creative serenity.”

    Anthony F. Chiffolo
    Author of 100 Names of Mary

  • “A spirituality of photography.”

    “Christine Valters Paintner explores the eye as a window to the heart. Using scripture and observations from thinkers in all faiths she offers a spirituality of photography as writing with light. This monk, photographer-artist, and writer combines the art of image receiving with visio divina, taking us through a detailed program for the feeling, reflecting, and completion of our heart’s vision.”

    Br. John J. O’ Hara, S.A.
    Graymoor Spiritual Life Center

  • “Like entering a garden in full bloom.”

    “Opening Christine Paintner’s Eyes of the Heart is like entering a garden in full bloom. It opens up all your senses so you see, smell, taste, and touch the world in a whole new way. This modern-day monk knows the essential secrets to sacred living and joyful being and she shares them freely.”

    Jan Phillips
    Author of No Ordinary Time

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