If she - whipped herself for fun as a child - doesn't need food to live - moves popes and kings to do her bidding she's not your girl. She's St. Catherine of Siena
Most accounts of secularization are pretty flat: the march of clear and virtuous reason against the suffocating faith of the Middle Ages. Charles Taylor gives much more detailed account than these over-simplifications-- and regardless of your background, Taylor's work is an engaging read.
Lesson from 4th century Christianity: if someone excommunicates you, you excommunicate them right back. This book covering the history of Constantine, the Nicene creed, and the Arian heresy is a fascinating mirror in which to reflect on the doctrinal disputes and approaches of our own day.
Rating: 4/5 A beautifully crafted narrative about the three pivotal events that all converged in the year 1492: the Spanish Inquisition, the defeat of the Spanish Moors, and the voyage of Columbus. The basic premise is that these three events, while portrayed with religious and apocalyptic imagery, were all used as tools of the state... Continue Reading →
I believe I encountered William Blake for the first time in a high school honor's English class. But the name really meant nothing to me, other than that he was one of the Greats next to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Lord Tennyson. They were all just poets who had achieved greatness sometime in... Continue Reading →
I absolutely loved Craig Harline's memoir of his mission in Belgium in Way Below the Angels, and I hoped he had written more. It is funny, moving, and honest about the spiritual growth and trials built into serving a mission. It turns out that he is a history professor at BYU now, and he just... Continue Reading →
Chesterton has done it again. I find so much here that is an antidote for our own day. Here is one I found summarizing well the current level of our political discussion: "As a matter of fact, it is generally the man who is not ready to argue, who is ready to sneer. That is... Continue Reading →
I just finished a great biography of G. K. Chesterton. You can read my summary here. One of the things that I didn't know was both his literary sparring and deep friendship with George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. They had a lot to disagree with. Shaw was a committed socialist, and Wells was,... Continue Reading →