Read -- and See -- A Wrinkle in Time
Read A Wrinkle in Time and and see a special screening of the new movie with the Cathedral on Friday evening, March 16, at 7 p.m. Tickets available here.
“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ― Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
As award-winning film director Ava DuVernay brings Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time to life on the big screen this month, Cathedral members will have an opportunity together to read, see, and share the story, whose richness lends itself to further exploration of religion, creativity, and inclusivity.
First published in 1962, the book tells the story of Meg Murry, an awkward teenager who must travel through time and space to rescue her little brother from the clutches of evil.
Despite the difficulties of categorizing the quirky story, it quickly became an international bestseller. Because of L’Engle’s treatment of religious themes, it soon became as controversial as it was beloved. The American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom lists it in the top 100 frequently banned books.
L’Engle, an Episcopalian who served as librarian and writer-in residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City for over thirty years, included many biblical references in the novel, and the ecumenical world view she put forth went so far as to suggest a “happy religious pluralism” described by The New Yorker as one in which “Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and even scientists can live together in peace.” Her intimation that love was more powerful than doctrine upset some conservative Christians, who claimed it offered an inaccurate portrayal of God and nurtured an unholy belief in myth and fantasy.
L’Engle suggests that the powerful messages of Christianity are not just for Christians. As Meg’s father tells her, "We were sent here for something. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." The author appreciated the tension created by opposites and understood that tolerance and love could bridge seemingly irreconcilable differences. In community, she explains, we draw closer to God not through sameness but through our shared life. Love, A Wrinkle in Time says, conquers all, and we do not have to be privileged, pretty or perfect to experience the power of this world-bending connection.
Ava DuVernay’s film version of the story, presenting the full breadth and accessibility of God’s kingdom, has the potential to match L’Engle’s creative fire. With an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, and Zach Galifianakis, “A Wrinkle in Time” is the first film directed by a woman of color to have a budget of over $100 million.
Three generations of readers have loved, questioned, or banned this story, and its longevity proves its power. More than half a century after the book’s original publication, DuVernay’s newest film promises to open the story’s arms even more widely and bring its mid-century perspective into the future. Will the new light it sheds on L’Engle’s tale of good and evil amplify the message for us, or will our ink-on-paper experience prevail?
You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the book or the movie tells the story most meaningfully to you. Whichever medium you prefer, you’ll be reminded that one of the great strengths of A Wrinkle in Time is its ability to carry us beyond the perceived boundaries of our understanding.
A Wrinkle in Time with the Cathedral
Pick up a copy of A Wrinkle in Time in the Cathedral Bookstore to read, reread, or share with a child.
On Thursday, March 15, Cathedral women are invited to participate in Minister for Children and Family KariAnn Lessner’s book club, Circle Up, Sister Friends, to discuss the book A Wrinkle in Time. Women may attend in person in the McGehee Conference room or on Facebook Live via the private Facebook Group (ask KariAnn for an invitation). Happy Half Hour starts at 6:30 p.m., and discussion starts at 7 p.m.
On the evening of Friday, March 16, join Cathedral friends for a screening and discussion of the film “A Wrinkle in Time.”