The Return of Christian Humanism, by Lee Oser

February 20, 2011 at 19:39 (Book Reviews, Highly Rated Books, Philosophy, Theology) (, , , , , , , , )

7/10

An excellent book, though very academic. The authors mentioned in the subtitle (Tolkien, Chesterton and Eliot) are the initial selling point of this book, and it might have been nice to see more textual analysis on their relevant works, rather than an endless debate on the validity of certain critical schools, and the sometimes shallow and pedantic opinionated claims of some adherants (according to Oser’s combative summaries).

Oser certainly does his research, and quotes some extremely diverse publications; it seems like Eliot is his main focus (perhaps to the detriment of the other writers), but perhaps he simply acknowledges that Eliot needs the greatest advocacy (he seems to admit as much, when wondering aside if Tolkien will, in the future, face the same revised criticisms as Eliot has).

Oser’s conservatism is welcome in what is such a conserative topic, and his strong support of theological orthodoxy alongside romanticism in literature is like a breath of fresh air. Perhaps he assumes his audience needs no introduction, but his criticism of absurdism and his praise of Christian humanism as a viable alternative is, though scattered and difficult to follow throughout scattered critical references, extremely useful.

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1 Comment

  1. David said,

    This sounds like an interesting book, and I shall have to add it to my “To Read” list.

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