From East to West
A History of Monasticism
The principles and practices of monasticism – obedience, celibacy and withdrawal from society – long pre-date Christianity. This history, by a Catholic monk who worked in India, Congo and Madagascar, surveys its origin in Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. After examining the links between Eastern and Christian monasticism, it follows its development from the founders of the fourth century through the establishment of the Benedictine order to the challenges it faces today.
Edith Stein Discovered
A Personal Portrait
Edith Stein (1891–1942), who was canonized in 1998, was born into a Jewish family in Breslau and died in the Auschwitz gas chambers. This introduction to her life draws on her autobiographical writing and follows her academic and religious journey, from philosophical studies with Husserl, through conversion to Catholicism, to her years as a cloistered Carmelite nun.
Fathers and Anglicans
The Limits of Orthodoxy
Tracing the development of the use of the Fathers in Anglicanism, Arthur Middleton shows how the particular character of the Anglican settlement, with its interplay between Scripture, tradition and reason, together with its constant will to profess only the faith of the undivided Church, has fostered a proximity with Orthodoxy. Middleton sees in this a unique spiritual gift for Anglicanism, bringing the inspiration of Orthodox Christianity into the Western tradition.
Barb of Fire
Twenty Poems of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
First published shortly after her death, these poems by French Carmelite nun Elizabeth Catez (1880–1906) address themes including the Indwelling of the Trinity and the acceptance of suffering. Bancroft’s verse translation sets her poetry alongside prose passages by her contemporary, the celebrated Benedictine Abbot Marmion.
Apostles and Martyrs
Retelling stories of faith, witness and heroism, this introduction to the early Church is based on saints’ own writings and other ancient accounts of their lives. As well as familiar New Testament figures – Peter, Paul and the Evangelists – it highlights the later Christians, including Irenaeus, Hippolytus and Cyprian, who played important roles in the development of the Western Catholic tradition.
Seeking the Absolute Love
The Founders of Christian Monasticism
How should Christian religions adapt to today’s changing culture? The author argues that this question is best answered by considering the founders of monastic traditions, from the Greek-educated Clement of Alexandria (who died c.215 CE) to 12th-century reformer St Bernard. He explains how these early Fathers skilfully selected the spiritual treasures of the ancients and adapted them for new contexts.
A Passionate Humility
Frederick Oakeley and the Oxford Movement
Described by Newman as ‘a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition’, Frederick Oakeley (1802–1880) was the principal figure in the second generation of the Oxford Movement, renowned for his love of well-performed liturgy and music – and his hymn, O Come all ye faithful. Among his achievements, this biography examines Oakeley’s pioneering experiment at Margaret Chapel in London, where he was the first to translate the Oxford Movement’s theology into liturgical practice.
Frances, Countess Lloyd George:
More Than a Mistress
Describing the 30-year relationship between British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his mistress (and later wife) Frances Stevenson, here the author – the subject’s granddaughter – offers fresh insights into the complicated and often controversial relationship between the two, and shares extracts from their private papers and letters, and photographs from the family album. Slightly off-mint.
Father Martin D'Arcy
Philosopher of Christian Love
The Jesuit Father Martin D'Arcy (1888–1976) was eminent both as a theologian and an aesthete. As Master of Campion Hall, Oxford, he rebuilt the house to a design by Lutyens, while his converts included Evelyn Waugh, Lord Longford and Edith Sitwell. This biography investigates his career and beliefs; his tragic friendship with Henry John, son of the painter Augustus; and his abrupt dismissal as Superior of the English Jesuit Province.
And Other Meditations of a Durham Hermit
Nearly 800 years after St Cuthbert founded a monastic cell on one of the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast, an anonymous monk there composed these six meditations on the Crucified Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Angels, Abraham and David, John the Evangelist, and Cuthbert himself, and they remain a source of spiritual guidance to Christians today. Slightly off-mint.
The Cistercians in the Early Middle Ages
Published to mark the nonacentenary of the foundation of the Cistercian order at Citeaux in 1098, this volume portrays the growth and the cultural, spiritual and economic life of the 'white monks'. Williams's study is concerned with the first 250 years of Cistercian history, the so-called 'Golden Age' that was brought to an end by the Black Death. The book includes numerous maps and plans, a chapter on the Cistercian-affiliated nunneries and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.