Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review of Changing Signs of the Times by Crystal L. Downing

Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication
by Crystal L. Downing
ISBN 978-0-8308-3966-7
IVP Academic
Reviewed by Clint Walker

The Changing Signs of Truth is a fascinating book by Crystal Downing. It discusses the power of "signs", or at risk of oversimplifying things, how symbolism in our communication forms how we understand and view the world.

As the title indicates, this book is also a book about how the meanings of words, signs, and symbols change over time, and how signs get reinterpreted especially today in our changing world. Downing impressively engages thinkers such as Derrida and Saussure in order to help Christians--especially evangelical Christians--learn how to engage and communicate with the culture around them more effectively.

This book is not for the faint of heart. It engages the disciplines of communication, theology, philosophy, and sociology in a thoughtful and academically informed way. The interdisciplinary work on display here is fascinating, but it takes some slow-reading and re-reading for the average student and reader.

A great addition to my library, and a book I want to delve into more at a later date.

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