David Jeffrey, Tolkien, and the Nature of Literature

0
0
0
s2smodern



In the midst of Ph.D. work I discovered the scholarship of David Lyle Jeffrey.  I am very thankful I did.  His books that I have read (and he has written others), The People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture and Houses of the Interpreter: Reading Scripture, Reading, are simply excellent.  I recently read his Andrew Lang Lecture, given at University of St. Andrews in 2004.  It is titled "Tolkien and the Future of Literary Studies," and appears in Tree of Tales: Tolkien, Literature, and Theology (Baylor University Press, 2007). . . 

Read more: David Jeffrey, Tolkien, and the Nature of Literature

Modernity as Heresy

0
0
0
s2smodern


I had the opportunity recently to spend the weekend at my alma mater, Baylor University.  It was great to see old friends and professors, and to make new friends.  The setting was Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning conference, "Secularization and Revival."  My thanks to the Institute for Faith and Learning for a great conference.  I gave a paper titled, "Modernity, the Heart and Getting Things Right: Modernity as More Than Simply Getting the Ideas Wrong."  I essentially argued that when we think of "modernity," we should not simply think in terms of this or that intellectual move or step (or misstep)--the one I singled out was nominalism, as seen in Richard Weaver, Michael Allen Gillespie, and--in a unique way--Colin Gunton. . .

Read more: Modernity as Heresy

Augustine the Preacher

0
0
0
s2smodern


There is an interesting story about the power of preaching that Serge Lancel recounts in his St Augustine (SCM Press, 2002), 351 (found in Augustine's De Doctrina Christiana, IV, 53).  In the years 418-419 Augustine had to deal with numerous pastoral issues over a hectic two-year period.  At one point, while in Caesarea during this time, he discovered a certain custom in this city.  On certain days of the year the citizens of the city would divide into two groups and would try and stone one another to death (called the caterva, "free-for-all").  Augustine chose to preach against this practice, and as Lancel recounts, Augustine "overwhelmed them, moved them to tears and, by the power of his words, achieved what no urban policing had ever managed--the eradication of a barbaric custom, to the extent that several years later it had not reappeared." 

Constitution Day

0
0
0
s2smodern



Today, September 17, is "Constitution Day."  For Americans, one of the most important things one can do in terms of developing a person's view of civil government, is simply to read the Constitution.  It is an illuminating (and perhaps depressing) experience. . .

Read more: Constitution Day

Insights from Serge Lancel on Augustine

0
0
0
s2smodern



I have mentioned in a prior post the tome by Serge Lancel, St Augustine (SCM Press, 2002--English translation).  As someone who desires to be a theologian, I have long been attracted to Augustine, and my dissertation and some of my writing has been in this area.  I determined a while back that I needed to work through Lancel's 590 page volume. . .

Read more: Insights from Serge Lancel on Augustine

Augustine on approaching Scripture

0
0
0
s2smodern

Serge Lancel's St Augustine is a 590 page tome on Augustine.  It is a treasure.  Lancel (p. 31) helpfully summarizes what Augustine says in Confessions about approaching Scripture.  In his Confessions, Augustine is "reliving that first failure in his mind's eye [i.e., the failure to appreciate and be drawn to Holy Scripture because of its apparently rough and unsophisticated nature]," and Augustine compates "entering" Scripture to "entering a cavern: you must lower your head to go in, which the proud are unable to do; but then the eye becomes accustomed and the vault soars above you."   Lancel's St Augustine is published by SCM Press (2002).