In a series a while back on www.christianhistory.net, “Grateful to the Dead: Diary of a Christian History Professor,” I argued that the enterprise of reading history and biography for the purpose of personal transformation has been under attack from a number of fronts, and that we ought to do everything we can to defend that enterprise. Now I discover that Dorothy L. Sayers, bless her, launched her own cautious, balanced defense of just this enterprise, against an enemy she calls “a ’sense of period,’” but which in scholarly circles (as she well knew) is called “historicism.” That is the idea that writings from the past are very much of their time, and we must not try to read them as if they weren’t. What Sayers correctly objected to was the sort of “historicism-gone-to-seed” that goes on to argue that since past writings are so much of their time, we cannot read them with benefit in our own time. But already I’m failing to do her justice, so, on to her own words . . . Continue reading
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What folks are reading most lately
- Quote of the day: "Scripture is like a river . . . broad and deep, shallow enough here for the lamb to go wading, but deep enough there for the elephant to swim."
- Medieval images and doctrines of hell
- C S Lewis's dark night of the soul
- A Christ-and-culture case study: Why did the early Christians use the Greek word "Logos" for Christ?
- The darker side of the chief King James Bible translator, Lancelot Andrewes
- God's beer mogul: A case study of Wesley-influenced economic action
What we’ve been talking about lately
- On how, and why, whole sectors of modern work were birthed from the heart and mind of the Christian church
- In which, identity politics poisons yet another community once ruled by love (of their subject): the guild of medievalists.
- Jesus is coming. Look busy?
- New issue of Christian History fights back against the church’s modern amnesia
- Book Review: The Artist and the Trinity
- Another testament to the “earthiness” of medieval culture
- Death, Desire, and the Sacramental Function of Humor in Lewis and His Medieval Sources – or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Self-Denial – part III
- Death, Desire, and the Sacramental Function of Humor in Lewis and His Medieval Sources – or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Self-Denial – part II
- Death, Desire, and the Sacramental Function of Humor in C S Lewis and His Medieval Sources – or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Self-Denial – part I
- Christian vocation in a “secular” world – pt 3 – John Wesley
- Christian vocation in a “secular” world – part 2 – Gregory the Great
- Can we find Christian vocation in the “secular” world of work?
- Two Modern Mistakes About the Material World – and the Medieval Truth that can Save us from Them
- Getting medieval on modern Christianity: Announcing a June 2017 conference
- A last-minute Christmas gift suggestion :)
- Medieval scholastics’ use of Scripture: Explaining what can be explained, but no more
- Interview on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog
- How was C. S. Lewis influenced by the medieval era?
- Young, restless, and immediate: The future of evangelicalism
- Medieval stupidity? Works-righteousness? Monastic uselessness? Getting beyond the caricatures
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