Reilly’s Romantic Religion

I have just begun to read R.J. Reilly’s Romantic Religion which is certain to make something I wrote with a similar title pale into insignificance. However, when I wrote Romantic Christianity, I was unaware of the existence of Reilly’s book. He planned his work around the four well-known twentieth-century literary figures J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams. I went from a more historical point of view and added my own thoughts. I am sure that I am promised a fascinating read with this book.

From the write-up to which I linked, I quote:

The title Romantic Religion reflects Reilly’s premise that these four thinkers share a “matured romanticism.” For them, creative imagination is central, with literary and religious views intimately related.

Matured romanticism? Certainly these four men in the twentieth century had a more profound vision than some of the nineteenth-century men Bouyer so acidly criticised for their lack of intellectual depth. When I finish this work, I intend to read Louis Bouyer’s Memoires,which were published posthumously. Indeed, Dr William Tighe warmly recommended this work. I also need to find a copy of Dom Alcuin Reid’s The Reformed Liturgy: A ‘Cadaver Decomposed’? Louis Bouyer and Liturgical Ressourcement, in: Antiphon 16 (2012). I have a suspicion that Bouyer also evolved since his days on the Vatican II committees of liturgical experts.

Just give me time to get through these two substantial tomes. There is a third! Today I found Bouyer’s Cosmos, The World and the Glory of God in my mailbox. I also need to wade through Vögelin’s Science, Politics & Gnosticism to understand what he understood about Gnosticism in order to blame it for all the evils of the modern world. Quite a few right-wing conservatives have their whipping boys, and need to be approached critically.

So, a lot of reading to do…

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3 Responses to Reilly’s Romantic Religion

  1. T J W Graham says:

    Looks like a great recommendation – I’ve snapped up a copy. More fun than panic buying loo roll.

    • Indeed, Timothy, please look after yourself if you are called to care for Covid19 patients. People do exaggerate with hoarding. If we have to be quarantined, it’s for 2-4 weeks. I’m used to spending a lot of time alone at home, and I’m never bored. Plenty to read and write, and translating work to do as well. I am finding Reilly’s book very interesting, and the book promises something very special – the four authors being compared in the final part of the book.

  2. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Happy reading! I’ve heard such good of Reilly’s book, but somehow never yet read it (not in any of the libraries I knew? – or checked out, at the moment I thought to look?; or perhaps my ‘tick’ of looking for second-hand copies, and that exclusively in shops in person? – bewildering). Nor have I caught up with any Bouyer, despite all the interesting things (to use an inadequate phrase) I’ve heard about him. I was struck at the 1997 international Voegelin conference in Manchester by what a variety of people are interested in, expert on, indebted to, his works. The Autobiographical Reflections might be another interesting little book of his to try – at least the edition I read (though the revised edition doesn’t look that long, and may be even handier).* The New Science of Politics (1952) and the selections John H. Hallowell included in From Enlightenment to Revolution (1975) might also be interesting to browse, if not read right through, now. (Someone’s scanned both in the Internet Archive, among other works.)

    *I see someone has put a four-and-three-hours recording with this title on YouTube a couple weeks ago – without any detailed note: my brief sampling suggests these may be recorded interviews which formed the basis for the book. (A YouTube channel with a lot of intriguing-looking videos, come to that – all recordings of interviews, lectures, etc.?)

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