Spiritual Friendship

Feast of St Herman of Alaska
De_Speculo_Caritatis_Square.jpegSpiritual Friendship by Aelred of Reivaulx

BORN TO an influential clerical family in Northumbria, Aelred was educated in Latin and the Classics at the court of the King of Scots. The great influence of Cicero's On Friendship led Aelred, after his conversion to Christianity, to wonder what treasures on this subject might be in Holy Scripture and the writings of the Fathers. He... Continue Reading

Christian Friendship in the Fourth Century

Feast of St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan
Christian Friendship in the Fourth Century by Carolinne White

White__Xian_Friendship_in_4th_Cent.jpgDRAWING from her extensive research and translation of the early Church Fathers, Carolinne White has constructed an accessible, possibly seminal, study of friendship and its development in one of the most formative centuries of Christendom. This richly academic volume builds on the classical understanding of friendship and its subsequent synthesis within the body... Continue Reading

The Feasts of the Lord

Feast of Sts Philemon and Archippus of the 70
The Feasts of the Lord: An Introduction to the Twelve Feasts and Orthodox Liturgy by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos; translated by Esther Williams

Hierotheos__Feasts_of_the_Lord_Square.jpegBY SIMPLEST definition, a commentary on the twelve feasts of the Orthodox ecclesial year. But of course, we cannot leave it at that because it is Metropolitan Hierotheos’ Christological interpretation of these feasts (standing squarely on the shoulders... Continue Reading

The Meaning of Life

Feast of St Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist
The Meaning of Life by S. L. Frank; translated by Boris Jakim

Frank__Meaning_of_Life_Square.jpgTHE MASS of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” writes Thoreau in Walden, and the great Russian philosopher Frank pinpoints the cause: our fear that life is meaningless. “For a moment we can evade this question [of meaning], chase it away from ourselves, but the next moment it is... Continue Reading

Ascetical Works of St Basil the Great

Feast of St Lazarus the Wonderworker
Ascetical Works – Fathers of the Church Patristic Series, Vol. 9 by St. Basil the Great; trans. by Vasilii Blazhennyi and M. Monica Wagner

Basil_Square_6.jpgIF YOU have ever wondered why St. Basil is called ‘The Great,’ you need look no further than this collection of writings which, for their subsequent impact on Church and culture, rank among the most important documents of late... Continue Reading

To Change the World

Feast of St Nestor the Martyr of Thessaloniki
To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison Hunter

Hunter_To_Change_the_World_Square.jpgHUNTER brings keen sociological insight to bear in these haunting reflections on the Christian impulse to change, transform, or redeem our troubled world. Such efforts are doomed to fail, Hunter argues, because American Christians often confuse culture with values, seek change... Continue Reading

Planet Narnia

Feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Michael Ward

Planet_Narnia_Square.jpgTHOUGH CRITICS have tried to link the Chronicles to the seven virtues, the seven sacraments, the seven deadly sins, and even the seven books of Spencer’s Faerie Queene, none have publicly considered that Lewis might have built the Narniad upon what John Donne... Continue Reading

Christ in His Saints

Feast of St Eustathius the Great Martyr, His Wife and Two Children
Christ in His Saints by Patrick Henry Reardon

Christ_in_His_Saints_Square.jpegCHRIST IN His Saints is the beautiful exposition of nearly 150 saints from both the Old and New Testaments. As a speaker, pastor, and author, Fr. Reardon’s reflections are timely and insightful; there is more here than mere accounts of the lives of our holy ancestors in Christ. His narrative... Continue Reading

Anglican Difficulties

Feast of Hieromartyr Cornatus, Bishop of Iconium
Anglican Difficulties by John Henry Newman; introduction by Stanley L. Jaki

Newman__Anglican_Difficulties_Square.jpegIN 1850, John Henry Newman delivered a series of “Twelve Lectures on Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Submitting to the Catholic Church,” which address his concern that Anglicanism, self-satisfied, was abandoning its “image as a via media between Protestantism and Romanism.” Newman said of these lectures in his characteristically sardonic tone,... Continue Reading

The Idea of a University

Feast of the Holy Martyr Calodote
The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman; edited by Frank M. Turner; contributors: Martha McMackin Garland, Sara Castro-Klarén, George P. Landow, George M. Marsden, Frank M. Turner

Idea_of_University_Square.jpegAS PART of a series from Yale University Press called “Rethinking the Western Tradition,” this is an excellent edition of Newman’s most influential work, first published in 1852. Helpful aids, such as an analytical... Continue Reading