Blog Template Theology of the Body: C. S. Lewis Among Ye Stars

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

C. S. Lewis Among Ye Stars

David Brooks has a worthy op-ed piece in the New York Times this week:

I have kept a short essay, which I stare at longingly from time to time. It’s an essay about how people in the Middle Ages viewed the night sky, and it’s about a mentality so totally removed from the campaign mentality that it’s like a refreshing dip in a cool and cleansing pool.

The essay, which appeared in Books & Culture, is called “C. S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem,” by Michael Ward, a chaplain at Peterhouse College at Cambridge. It points out that while we moderns see space as a black, cold, mostly empty vastness, with planets and stars propelled by gravitational and other forces, Europeans in the Middle Ages saw a more intimate and magical place. The heavens, to them, were a ceiling of moving spheres, rippling with signs and symbols, and moved by the love of God. The medieval universe, Lewis wrote, “was tingling with anthropomorphic life, dancing, ceremonial, a festival not a machine.”

Et voila!

And have you heard about the new book by Joseph Pearce being published by Ignatius Press? In it Pearce argues that the Bard was a secret Catholic. I for one find that to be very exciting. I trust it's a credible argument, although I feel reasonably sure one that will not be readily accepted by the academic establishment.

Et voici!