A thorough study of the six principal writers of the Catholic revival in English Literature - Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene and Waugh. Beginning with Newman's conversion in 1845 and ending with Waugh's completion of the trilogy 'The Sword of Honour' in 1961, this book explores how Catholicism shaped the work of these six prominent writers. Ian Ker is a member of the theology faculty at Oxford University. He is well known as one of the leading authorities on the life and work of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
John Henry Newman is often described as 'the Father of the Second Vatican Council'. He anticipated most of the Council's major documents, as well as being an inspiration to the theologians who were behind them. His writings offer an illuminating commentary both on the teachings of the Council and the way these have been implemented and interpreted in the post-conciliar period. This book is the first sustained attempt to consider what Newman's reaction to Vatican II would have been. As a theologian who on his own admission fought throughout his life against theological liberalism, yet who pioneered many of the themes of the Council in his own day, Newman is best described as a conservative radical who cannot be classed simply as either a conservative or liberal Catholic. At the time of the First Vatican Council, Newman adumbrated in his private letters a mini-theology of Councils, which casts much light on Vatican II and its aftermath. The leading Newman scholar, Ian Ker, argues that Newman would have greatly welcomed the reforms of the Council, but would have seen them in the light of his theory of doctrinal development, insisting that they must certainly be understood as changes but changes in continuity rather than discontinuity with the Church's tradition and past teachings. He would therefore have endorsed the so-called 'hermeneutic of reform in continuity' in regard to Vatican II, a hermeneutic first formulated by Pope Benedict XVI and subsequently confirmed by his successor, Pope Francis, and rejected both 'progressive' and ultra-conservative interpretations of the Council as a revolutionary event. Newman believed that what Councils fail to speak of is of great importance, and so a final chapter considers the kind of evangelization—a topic notably absent from the documents of Vatican II—Newman thought appropriate in the face of secularization.
G. K. Chesterton is remembered as a brilliant creator of nonsense and satirical verse, author of the Father Brown stories and the innovative novel, The Man who was Thursday, and yet today he is not counted among the major English novelists and poets. However, this major new biography argues that Chesterton should be seen as the successor of the great Victorian prose writers, Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin, and above all Newman. Chesterton's achievement as one of the great English literary critics has not hitherto been fully recognized, perhaps because his best literary criticism is of prose rather than poetry. Ian Ker remedies this neglect, paying particular attention to Chesterton's writings on the Victorians, especially Dickens. As a social and political thinker, Chesterton is contrasted here with contemporary intellectuals like Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells in his championing of democracy and the masses. Pre-eminently a controversialist, as revealed in his prolific journalistic output, he became a formidable apologist for Christianity and Catholicism, as well as a powerful satirist of anti-Catholicism. This full-length life of G. K. Chesterton is the first comprehensive biography of both the man and the writer. It draws on many unpublished letters and papers to evoke Chesterton's joyful humour, his humility and affinity to the common man, and his love of the ordinary things of life.
This full-length life of John Henry Newman is the first comprehensive biography of both the man and the thinker and writer. It draws extensively on material from Newman's letters and papers. Newman's character is revealed in its complexity and contrasts: the legendary sadness and sensitivity are placed in their proper perspective by being set against his no less striking qualities of exuberance, humour, and toughness. This book attempts to do justice to the fullness of Newman's achievement and genius: the Victorian 'prophet' or 'sage', who ranks among the major English prose writers; the dominating religious figure of the nineteenth century, who can now be recognised as the forerunner of the Second Vatican Council and the modern ecumenical movement; and finally, the universal Christian thinker, whose significance transcends his culture and time.
Ian Ker presents a major collection of Newman's writings, celebrating his full achievements as both a universally significant religious thinker, and a major Victorian writer. The selection is divided into five sections, which focus on his life as an educator, a philosopher, a preacher, a theologian, and a writer.
G.K. Chesterton is remembered as a brilliant creator of nonsense and satirical verse, author of the Father Brown stories and the innovative novel, 'The Man who was Thursday', and yet today he is not counted among the major English novelists and poets. However, this biography argues that Chesterton should be seen as the successor of the great Victorian prose writers, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, and above all John Henry Newman. This full-length life of G.K. Chesterton presents a biography of both the man and the writer.
This book is the first comparative study of its kind to explore at length the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. It also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of Catholic literature. The breadth of this book will make it a useful guide for students wishing to become familiar with a wide range of such writings in France and England during this period. It will also appeal to researchers interested in Catholic literary and intellectual history in France and England, theologians, philosophers and students of the sociology of religion.
Exotic, corrupt, and dangerous, Roman Catholicism functioned in the popular Victorian imagination as a highly sensationalized and implacably anti-English enemy. Maureen Moran’s lively study considers a wide range of key authors—including Charlotte Brontë, Robert Browning, Wilkie Collins, and George Eliot, as well as a number of non-canonical writers—to give a detailed account of the cultural tensions between Catholics and Protestants. Moran shows that rather than representing a traditional religious schism, the demonizing of Catholics resulted from secular fears over crime, sex, and violence.
The debate over extending full civil rights to British and Irish Catholics not only preoccupied British politics but also informed the romantic period's most prominent literary works. This book offers the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of Catholic Emancipation, one of the romantic period's most contentious issues.
Covering 2,000 years, this two-volume set is the first encyclopedia devoted to Christian writers and books. In addition to an overview of the Christian literature, this encyclopedia includes more than 40 essays on the principal genres of Christian literature and more than 400 bio-bibliographical essays describing the principal writers and their works.
An Anthology of Writings from 1483 to 1999 Firmly I Believe and Truly celebrates the depth and breadth of the spiritual, literary, and intellectual heritage of the Post-Reformation English Roman Catholic tradition in an anthology of writings that span a five hundred year period between William Caxton and Cardinal Hume. Intended as a rich resource for all with an interest in Roman Catholicism, the writings have been carefully selected and edited by a team of scholars with historical, theological, and literary expertise. Each author is introduced to provide context for the included extracts and the chronological arrangement of the anthology makes the volume easy to use whilst creating a fascinating overview of the modern era in English Catholic thought. The extracts comprise a wide variety writing genres; sermons, prayers, poetry, diaries, novels, theology, apologetics, works of controversy, devotional literature, biographies, drama, and essays. Includes writings by: John Colet, John Fisher, Thomas More, Robert Southwell, Philip Howard, Edmund Campion, John Gother, John Dryden, Mary Barker, Alexander Pope, Richard Challoner, Alban Butler, John Milner, Elizabeth Inchbald, Nicholas Wiseman, Margaret Mary Hallahan, A. W. N. Pugin, John Henry Newman, Henry Edward Manning, Frederick William Faber, Bertrand Wilberforce, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Vincent McNabb, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, G. K. Chesterton, R. A. Knox, J. R. R. Tolkien, Caryll Houselander, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, John Bradburne, Cardinal Hume
Between Human and Divine is the first collection of scholarly essays published on a wide variety of contemporary (post 1980) Catholic literary works and artists. Its aim is to introduce readers to recent and emerging writers and texts in the tradition.
Literary Criticism by Ecclesiastical History Society. Summer Meeting
This incisive and perceptive new book concerns 'Catholic Literature' in Britain since 1850. To many people, Roman Catholicism is culturally foreign and 'other'. And yet some of the most outstanding writers of recent times have been Catholics - often converts, such as Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Muriel Spark and David Jones. In every case these authors' Catholicism was integral to their creative genius and they represent an important strand in any account of English literature. Professor Griffiths' account is set against a wide and varied canvas. It gives a full account of the growth of Catholicism as a cultural, social and political force in Great Britain since Newman. Griffiths is concerned also to relate his story to movements on the continent and examines on his way the impact of French Catholic writers such as Huysmans, Peguy and Mauriac on their British counterparts and the influence of British Catholic writers such as Newman, Faber and Chesterton on Europe.
Drawing substantially on the thoughts and words of Catholic writers and cultural commentators, Villis sheds new light on religious identity and political extremism in early twentieth-century Britain. The book constitutes a comprehensive study of the way in which British Catholic communities reacted to fascism both at home and abroad.
What is a “Catholic” novel? This book analyzes the fiction of Graham Greene in a radically new manner, considering in depth its form and content, which rest on the oppositions between secularism and religion. Sampson challenges these distinctions, arguing that Greene has a dramatic contribution to add to their methodological premises. Chapters on Greene’s four “Catholic” novels and two of his “post-Catholic” novels are complemented by fresh insight into the critical importance of his nonfiction. The study paints an image of an inviting yet beguilingly complex literary figure.
This nuanced yet accessible study is the first to examine the range of religious experience imagined in Hopkins's writing. By exploring the shifting way in which Hopkins imagines religious belief in individual history, Martin Dubois contests established views of his poetry as a unified project. Combining detailed close readings with extensive historical research, Dubois argues that the spiritual awareness manifest in Hopkins's poetry is varied and fluctuating, and that this is less a failure of his intellectual system than a sign of the experiential character of much of his poetry's thought. Individual chapters focus on biblical language and prayer, as well as on the spiritual ideal seen in the figures of the soldier and the martyr, and on Hopkins's ideas of death, judgement, heaven and hell. Offering fresh interpretations of the major poems, this volume reveals a more diverse and exploratory poet than has been recognised.
Graham Greene's early books are described as 'Catholic Novels' with his later work falling into political and detective genres. This title argues that this is a false dichotomy created by a narrowly prescriptive understanding of the Catholic genre and obscures the impact of Greene's religious imagination on his literary art.