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Nicholas Bielby

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Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England
Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England
by Roger Scruton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-long love-affair, warts and all, 8 Jan. 2014
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This is a very easy-to-read book for a philosopher! It's a spontaneously written account of his long-standing love affair with the Church of England, warts and all. If there is a certain degree of self-indulgence in the middle chapters, the first is a wonderfully clear and balanced exposition of how the Church he loves came to be the way it is. His explanations of theological positions is lucid and his emphasis on the balancing act the Church achieves between sacramental theology and worldliness explains its quiet, civilising influence. My copy is full of underlinings because he expresses things so well, -- ideas new to me and feelings I have never formulated so clearly. In what is a very personal book, I'm sure he speaks for many of us. It is brave of a philosopher to make himself so vulnerable - philosophy is a calling peculiarly marked by malice and schadenfreude.

Minor irritations: Maybe its very spontaneity has led to some carelessness. He says (but I'm sure he knows otherwise) that the Great (Cranmer's) Bible was Wyclif's, not Coverdale's version (p 32). He attributes the influence of the Bible on Puritanism in the Civil War to the accessibility to the King James Version without a mention of the much more radical Geneva Bible which was, early on at least, the preferred version for Puritan private study. In discussing Christmas, he seems to forget that just as Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection, Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation (p 126). There is no index - a sad omission when there is so much one would like to refer back to!

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