One of the inspirations behind Professor Debra Linesch’s new
book of meditations, “Panim el
Panim: Facing Genesis, Visual Midrash” (Marymount Institute Press) came from
the institutional support she received at Loyola Marymount University.
“There is so much fear and misunderstanding centered around
the otherness of different faith traditions. We are missing the point of being
a faith-based institution if the university cannot start a conversation about
said Linesch, who is the chair of the Graduate Department of Marital and Family
Therapy and an art therapist. “LMU has been so supportive of helping me explore
and open up my Jewish voice.”
The book, with artwork by Evelyn Stettin, is an
introspective response to the Torah. It’s an exploration from the art therapy
perspective of the powerful relationship between the words of the Torah and the
imagery those words inspire. “Panim el Panim,” or “Face to Face,” is the first
book of its kind to explore the potential for Visual Midrash in the
contemporary bustle of our daily lives.
“The book is intended for people who are curious about
experiencing sacred texts using psychological and creative methods, and finding
meaning in the process,” Linesch said.
“Panim el Panim” doesn’t
tell you what to believe, or how to think about religion, it provides you with
the tools of faith from the Jewish perspective. The Visual Midrash is an open
invitation to go on a journey with your senses to find inner peace no matter
your spiritual orientation or ideology.
Linesch feels this book, like her many others, expresses the
transition of her
experiences as a clinical professional, professor, mother and self-aware adult.
The book is the culmination of knowledge won by years of integrative
experiences in a multi-disciplinary field.
“‘Panim el Panim’ is my way of discovering the great
traditions of my religion, while engaging the greater community in a thoughtful
interfaith discussion about healing, human experience and the power of faith,”
“Panim el Panim” is the second book in Marymount Institute
Press’s series, Robert B. Lawton, S.J., Studies in Faith, Culture, and the
Arts. For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, please click