I’d like to apologize for the lack of posting. I have devoted much of the summer to catching up on reading — pursuing my interest in (and remeding my ignorance of) various subjects. Here are some books in which I’ve immersed myself in my time offline:
- Sir Anthony Kenny‘s four-volume History of Western Philosophy. Sir Kenny splits each volume into two parts — the first providing a chronological survey of the period, the latter half devoted to in-depth analysis of various subjects (“epistemology”, “metaphysics”, “political philosophy”, etc.). The former is very helpful to the newcomer, while I think the latter benefits those with a particular background knowledge in the topics. Altogether a very useful resource — rewarding reading for anybody who might find Copleston’s eleven volume history a tad daunting.
- Two books by Tracey Rowland — Culture and the Thomist Tradition after Vatican II and Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI [Reviews]
. The latter rivals Fr. Aidan Nichol’s Introduction to the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger in a single-volume survey of the Holy Father. (Anybody surveying the bibliography of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict will understand this is no small feat).
- Earlier this summer I finished Fergus Kerr’s After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism. Aquinas and the rival schools and interpretations of the Great Doctor remain a topic of interest, together with the related controversy over nouvelle theologie. My initial appreciation was for its proponents — Ratzinger, De Lubac, Balthasar, Gilson, Daniélou, Maritain. But I find myself also motivated to investigate its critics, in the interest of getting beyond what I think are rather unfair caricatures (the much-maligned Garrigou-Lagrange, for example — Sacred Monster Of Thomism is on my wish list.
- Ratzinger? — Alas, I have not yet read Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection. I had ordered it in advance, but upon receiving it I realized I needed to re-read the first one to re-acquaint myself.
- Turning to fiction, I’ve been reading Cormac McCarthy — spurred by the movie adaptations of “No Country for Old Men” (2007) and “The Road” (2009). I’m now making my way through Blood Meridian (1985). Harold Bloom talks about how The Road “wore him down”; I have the same experience with Blood Meridian‘s harrowing style and vivid imagery. I can certainly understand how it serves as an artistic inspiration to some favorite musicians. (Ben Nichols (Lucero): The Last Pale Light In The West or Dylan Carlson (Earth): Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method).
I also blazed through Stephen King’s short story collection Full Dark, No Stars in 2-3 days. King is a guilty pleasure — memorable characters, earthy humor, a bit of gore and some genuinely hair-raising, spine-tingling thrills.
So, what are you reading lately? What interests and engages you? and what would you recommend?