Monday, 19 December 2011

Timothy Larsen on the Victorian Bible

An interesting extended review of A People of One Book has just appeared in Reviews in History, along with a response from Larsen himself.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The TLS & the scandal of the Evangelical mind

This week's TLS makes great reading for anyone interested in Christianity and History. Tom Wright has a two page spread on new studies of Jesus by Joseph Ratzinger (aka the Pope), Maurice Casey and Bruce Fisk. Anthony Kenny has a characteristically fair-minded review of a history of philosophical thought on the soul written by two Christian philosophers. The classicist Kate Cooper considers Peter Leithart's provocative study, Defending Constantine. David Martin reviews a book on secularisation.

Back in 1995, the historian Mark Noll lamented the scandal of the Evangelical mind. This week's TLS suggests that the health of the Evangelical mind might be improving (as Noll himself admits in Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind). Exhibit A is Tom Wright, the world's most renowned New Testament scholar; he reviews Bruce Fisk, who teaches at Westmont College, and presents a clever popularisation of recent work on the historical Jesus; the philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro (whom Kenny reviews) have both been involved with the Evangelical Philosophical Society; Peter Leithart is a Reformed theologian with a voracious intellectual appetite; the opening review engages with The Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science, co-edited by David Livingstone FBA, who has worked closely with Noll on the Evangelical response to Darwinism; and the book on secularisation is co-edited by Timothy Shah, a scholar of foreign relations who has been leading a two-year project on 'the opening of the Evangelical mind':

This is not bad for a single issue of the TLS, and it shows how British and American Evangelicals (of various stripes) are producing first-rate scholarship in biblical studies, philosophy of religion, the history of science, sociology and foreign affairs.

Wright's review of the Pope's Life of Jesus can be read online: