Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Sacred and Secular Scriptures: A Catholic Approach to Literature

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Sacred and Secular Scriptures: A Catholic Approach to Literature

Article excerpt

SACRED AND SECULAR SCRIPTURES: A CATHOLIC APPROACH TO LITERATURE. By NICHOLAS BOYLE. University of Notre Dame Press. 304pp. $55.

In Sacred and Secular Scriptures: A Catholic Approach to Literature, the Cambridge literary scholar Nicholas Boyle hopes to find "some new ways in which some of the greatest modern literature ... can speak to us about the relation of the modern world to God, about God's hiddenness and the revelation of the hiddenness, and about His reconciliation of our world to Himself through His Son and through His Son's mystical body, the Church." Boyle is highly critical of the main currents in secular modernity and of the biblical and literary scholarship under its sway. His own very Catholic theological sensibility draws him toward a redemptive reading of modern literature, one which takes its bearings from Holy Scripture. In response to the stilltoo-common assumption that Catholics are allergic to the Bible, Boyle emphasizes that a properly theological approach to modern culture and literature requires the integration of biblical wisdom with magisterial tradition. …

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