Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Enlightened Scoffing.

Brian Van Hove, S.J. reviews Diarmaid MacCulloch's . He finds the author
... proclaims himself a skeptic although he writes with the zeal of an apostate. His is a paradoxical mixture of both skepticism and appreciation of religion, especially Christianity. At times he reveals classical Greek tastes which are benevolently pre-Christian, though he has been shaped by the Enlightenment. His erudition permits him to indulge freely in refined, urbane scoffing. And his erudition is considerable.
According to Fr. Hove, book has received raved reviews, particularly in university circles, "because the readership in such settings agrees with the negative assessment of the Enlightenment in matters of religion, especially Christianity."

Coincidentally, Rowan Williams, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, deems it a "triumphantly executed achievement" with "few, if any, rivals in the English language."

I'm about 6 chapters in and I must say I share Father Hove's impression. My free time these days is sorely limited. I think I might resume plugging away at Jaroslav Pelikan's intellectual history of 'The Christian Tradition.'

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