I appreciate a man who not only is a fan of Dorothy Sayers’s essays on work, but also read all the Lord Peter Wimsey novels with his wife during their first year of marriage. This is Steve Garber, of the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture, blogging on the institute’s website:
As we talked, my friend the businessman-become-farmer asked me if I had ever read Why Work? by Dorothy Sayers. I have, and think it is as a good a statement about work as anyone has written. And I smiled, telling him that Meg and I had read aloud all her Lord Peter Wimsey novels the first year we were married. She is a favorite for many reasons.
The following is a short bit from her work on work, Continue reading
Image by summonedbyfells via Flickr
Speaking of Dorothy Sayers, thanks to friend Marc Cortez over at Scientia et Sapientia for this reminder of a piece of Sayers’s writing that has become more read in recent years than perhaps anything else she wrote besides her Lord Peter Wimsey mystery stories:
Today marks Dorothy Sayers‘ 118th birthday (June 13, 1893). Writer, theologian, poet, essayist, and playwright, Sayers did it all. And, she did it amazingly well.
To commemorate her birthday, here are some excerpts from her essay on The Lost Tools of Learning. Regardless of whether you agree with her argument that we need to return to medieval models of education (and the way this argument has been used by the classical and home schooling movements), her comments on the importance of learning to think are outstanding:
“Have you ever, in listening to a debate among adult and presumably responsible people, been fretted by the extraordinary inability of the average debater to speak to the question, or to meet and refute the arguments of speakers on the other side? Or have you ever pondered upon the extremely high incidence of irrelevant matter which crops up at committee meetings, and upon the very great rarity of persons capable of acting as chairmen of committees? And when you think of this, and think that most of our public affairs are settled by debates and committees, have you ever felt a certain sinking of the heart?”
For the rest of the quotations, see here.
Aquinas with his favorite novel? (The Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas, detail. Paris, Musée du Louvre.)
A nifty post by “Theology PhD Mom” on novels and theology, including a run-down of some of the theological themes in Nick Hornby‘s About A Boy (which later became a movie starring Hugh Grant). Some snippets:
“My PhD advisor has often suggested that fiction is good for theologians to read. Until I met him, I had generally thought that my reading mystery novels when I was supposed to be reading Barth IV.2 or, heavens, the Summa Theologica, was a big vice. But who am I to argue with my Doktorvater?”
Excellent start. And then quickly, a list of a few theologians (and one medievalist) who also wrote mystery novels:
“G.K. Chesterton (Father Brown), Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey), Ralph McInerny (Father Dowling – and I used to love the tv show, shot in my very own beloved Denver), to name a few. Continue reading
Posted in Medieval Wisdom for Modern Protestants, Resources for Radical Living
Tagged Brother Cadfael, detective fiction, Dorothy L Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey, mystery novels, narrative theology, Nick Hornby, novels, Ralph McInerny, Summa Theologica
A couple of years back, when I was in the thick of writing Patron Saints for Postmoderns, I started doodling with anagrams for my “saints'” names. This is what I came up with:
Margery Kempe = “Kerygma per me”
That’s a Greek/Latin hybrid, meaning, “the Gospel proclamation for me.” So much of what Margery did was in response to her deeply personal sense of what the Gospel proclamation meant–for her and for all people.