Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Readable Theologians

The convergence of a trip to the library, Christmas, and a birthday have left me revelling in a wealth of Sayers, Lewis, and Chesterton. This is a happy thing, especially as I'm supposed to be spending time resting and these books give me excellent excuse. I'm currently reading a selection of Sayer's writings on various Christian topics -- brief excerpts from her other works that make me long to find the originals. Here's a snippet on forgiveness, from Introductory Papers on Dante:
...the blessed "joyously forgive themselves" -- a thing, as we all know,extremely difficult in this life, because pride gets in the way. For instance -- that dreadfully silly and unkind thing you said to poor Miss Smith when you were quite a child. Even after all these years, it makes you turn hot and writhe on your pillow if you remember it suddenly in the middle of the night; and the fact that Miss Smith was so decent about it makes you feel all the worse. But in Heaven, when you have purged off the sin, you will rememer the wretched little episode only as a fact: you will be free for ever from the ugly shame that is the protest of your pride against being humiliated in your own eyes; and seeing Miss Smith as God sees her, you will rejoice in her beautifulo charity and though it had been something else. and not your unthinking cruelty, that called it forth.

Marvelous!

A reviewer's comment on the back of Sayer's book states: "Dorothy L. Sayers stands in the great tradition of English writers -- Chesterton, Lewis, Charles Williams, and others -- who make Christian theology a joy to read." Sayers and Lewis were academics; Chesterton was a journalist; all published a diverse body of literature (fiction, philosophy, theology) that were popularly read and discussed. Re-reading these luminaries causes me to wonder: who are their equivalents today? Who is writing such well-reasoned and conversational yet deeply profound explications of Christian theology now?

I welcome all suggestions -- I need lots of reading material to see me through the next six weeks.

4 comments:

Julie D. said...

Peter Kreeft. :-)

Which Sayers book is it? I have several on my list ... loved her mysteries and was very excited to see that she had written about theology. Supposedly her translation and commentary on Dante's Inferno is the best ever.

MrsDarwin said...

We have Sayer's Divine Comedy, and it's well worth the read. What I'm reading now is a collection called A Matter of Eternity, which has excerpts from other works. There's a list of the books which are quoted, and I'm thinking of copying it down and searching for them. Good, good stuff! I'd only read Lord Peter and The Divine Comedy, and I'm looking forward to reading more Sayers.

I heard Peter Kreeft speak once, and though his talk was interesting, he delivered it in such a uninspired fashion that it was almost hard to follow. Maybe it was stage fright -- I've had it myself.

Julie D. said...

I think he is much better as an author than a speaker. Try his culture war book...

Actually I misspoke above ... it was Sayer's translation of The Divine Comedy that I've heard was good (maybe at this very blog). :-)

Anonymous said...

Peter Kreeft is AWESOME!

:)