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The Spiritual History of English

$19.00
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Softcover, 163 pages

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Modernity might be defined as the age when Western man tried, for the first time, to do without the Church, then without Christ, and finally, without God. Yet cultural expression remained vibrantly alive, from the Renaissance to the Baroque, from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, and into the Modernist reaction—at least, for as long as the ancient echoes of Catholicism stirred the imagination. However, now that religion has been so effectively removed from our society, the impetus for high culture seems to have vanished; arts and letters are uninspired, uninteresting, and undignified, if not parasitical, ugly, banal, and empty. Postmodernism is the end of the line to nowhere.

In an ambitious critique ranging over 1,500 years of literary history, the poet Andrew Thornton-Norris argues that the demise of English literature reveals the heavy cost of rejecting objective moral standards and sacred realities. Only the Catholic Faith has power to prevail against the “dictatorship of relativism” in all its erosive manifestations and to provide once again those underlying norms of mind, behaviour, and workmanship on which civilization thrives. The Anglophone world will experience cultural rebirth when it embraces anew the divine religion it has tried to bury in successive waves of revolution.

“An enjoyable, erudite and cohesive journey through the history and philosophy of English literature… Brilliantly thought out, and painstakingly researched.” —
The London Times

“For those of us struggling to survive in an intellectual landscape that sometimes resembles imagery of a nuclear winter, whose respite has been limited almost solely to mutual commiseration, the substance of this short book is as welcome as pure water.” —
St. Austin Review

“I read this book with great interest and profit.” —John Powell Ward, poet

“Extremely perceptive.” —Edward Norman, historian

Andrew Thornton-Norris is an accomplished poet praised by such authors as David Yezzi, Fiona Sampson, Alison Brackenbury, John Powell Ward, Aidan Nichols, and Roger Scruton.

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