We’ve all heard about the classics and assume they’re great. Some of us have even read them on our own. But for those of us who remain a bit intimidated or simply want to get more out of our reading, Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics are here to help.
In these short guidebooks, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken takes you through some of the greatest literature in history while answering your questions along the way.
- Includes an introduction to the author and work
- Explains the cultural context
- Incorporates published criticism
- Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
- Defines key literary terms
- Lists resources for further study
- Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview
This guide opens up the signature book of American literature, Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, and unpacks its universal themes of sin, guilt, and redemption.
“Ryken is a warm and welcoming guide to the classics of Western literature. The books in this series distill complex works into engaging and relevant commentaries, and help twenty-first-century readers understand what the classics are, how to read them, and why they continue to matter.”
—Andrew Logemann, Chair, Department of English, Gordon College
“Students, teachers, homeschoolers, general readers, and even seasoned literature professors like me will find these Christian guides to classic works of literature invaluable. They demonstrate just what is so great about these ‘great books’ and illuminate their meanings in light of Christian truth. Reading these books along with the masterpieces they accompany is a literary education in itself, and there can be few better tutors and reading companions than Leland Ryken, a master Christian scholar and teacher.”
—Gene Edward Veith Jr.,
Provost and Professor of Literature, Patrick Henry College; Director, Cranach Institute, Concordia Theological Seminary
“The Classics are peaks I’ve always wanted to climb, but never had the chutzpah to tackle. I often find myself, as a result, admiring these beauties from afar, wondering if I’ll ever dare an ascent and one day enjoy their views. That’s why I’m delighted to see the release of Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics. Now, I’ve got a boost to my confidence, a feasible course in front of me, and a world-class guide to assist along the way. In fact, Dr. Leland Ryken could scale these peaks in his sleep, having, for decades now, guided hundreds of students to a greater appreciation for the Classics. Lee combines scholarly acumen and Christian faith with uncluttered thinking and crystal-clear style in a way that virtually guarantees no one will get tangled-up in woods or wander off trail. The Classics are now within reach! I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this series!”
—Todd Wilson, Senior Pastor, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
“In an age when many elite universities have moved away from the classics, this series will help re-focus students and teachers on the essential works of the canon. More importantly, it will help present the classics from the perspective of the Judeo-Christian worldview upon which the university was built. These guides offer exactly the kind of resources needed to empower high school and college students (whether in public, private, classical-Christian, or home schools) to connect with the Great Books and to ask the kinds of questions that we all must ask if we are to understand our full status as creatures made in the image of God who have fallen but who can be redeemed.”
—Louis Markos, Professor of English, Scholar in Residence, and Robert H. Ray Chair of Humanities, Houston Baptist University; author, Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis
“It is hard to imagine a better guide than Leland Ryken to help readers navigate the classics. In an age in desperate need of recovering the permanent things, I am thankful that Crossway and Ryken have teamed up to produce excellent guides to help Christians take up and read the books which have shaped the western intellectual tradition.”
—Bradley G. Green, Associate Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition, Union University; writer-in-residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge
“The Christian Guides to the Classics series by Leland Ryken will be a helpful addition to the library of anyone interested in a deeper understanding of classic literature. I can’t help but think that these guides will give us more pleasure and satisfaction from our reading than we would otherwise have. And best of all, we will be better equipped to successfully engage with the ideas and worldviews we come across in our reading. That’s a goal worth pursuing.”
—Jonathan Lewis<span>,<span> Editor, Home School Enrichment, Inc.</span></span>