In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Finally, Jane Austen makes an appearance, and Barrs notes that in complement to Tolkien, she was chosen by the same BBC pollsters as the author whose work (specifically, her novel Pride and Prejudice) most influenced the lives of English women. Barrs again takes considerable space to mention film adaptations, and he supposes that Austen’s use of humor has contributed significantly to her continuing popularity. After exploring moral vices and virtues that appear in Pride and Prejudice, he concludes with an extended quotation from Elizabeth Jenkins’s biography of Austen, including the following words: When Macaulay mentioned Shakespeare and Jane Austen in the same breath, he did not suppose it necessary to state the obvious difference in their art and scope; admirers of Jane Austen understood what he meant in making the comparison, and feel that however far apart they stand, the two share the quality . . . of creating character. (192) A comparable book is Philip Ryken’s Art for God’s Sake (2006): it is not groundbreaking scholarship, but it is a helpful primer for the layperson and provides a good review and summary of what has been said on this topic, as well as an opportunity for further investigation. Barrs uses copious references to Scripture, and for more in-depth studies, readers might consider a book by another of Schaeffer’s protégés: Nancy Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo (2010). One criticism is that Barrs includes only works by Christian writers, and the kind of art he considers is almost exclusively fiction. My guess is that Barrs chose authors because of their popularity, and also because the Creation–Fall–Redemption theme resonates most clearly in their work. Jeremy Larson Baylor University Jane Rupert. John Henry Newman on the Nature of the Mind: Reason in Religion, Science and the Humanities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011. Pp. ix + 123. $75. ISBN 978-0-7391-4047-5. John Henry Newman on the Nature of the Mind, by Jane Rupert, is a valuable recent addition to scholarship on John Henry Newman’s understanding of religious epistemology , and the role that the imagination, as well as the liberal arts, plays in this mode of knowledge. Given Christianity & Literature’s recent reviews on books about Shakespeare, Milton, and Victorian authors such as Charles Dickens and Gerard Manley Hopkins, it seems fitting to review here a book on Newman, a Victorian who although primarily a church historian and theologian wrote two novels and religious poetry. Rupert, who obtained her doctoral degree in English at the University of Toronto, is author of Uneasy Relations: Reason in Literature and 214 Christianity & Literature 64(2) Science from Aristotle to Darwin and Blake, which explores the rupture of the unity of reason through the long course of history from 4 BC to 1900 AD. The present book consists of five chapters which discuss the use of reason in religion, science, and the humanities, as noted in the subtitle. The author contends that reason has been reduced to empirical knowledge, putting aside other modes of knowledge in religion and literature. In Newman’s writings and in this book the term ‘‘imagination’’ refers to the faculty that enables a person ‘‘to picture’’ something real rather than ‘‘to fancy or desire’’ something possible. Chapter 1, ‘‘The Closing of the Mind: Empirical Philosophy and Science,’’ sets the stage and presents the recurring argument: human reason has been seriously impoverished by the contemporary scientific worldview. In it the author identifies the origins of empirical philosophy in the Epicurean materialistic worldview. Chapter 2, ‘‘Expansion of the Mind: Reason in Religious Belief in Contrast to Science,’’ explains religious imagination as a mode of reasoning defended by Newman at a time when scientific reasoning was crowding out other types of reasoning . The author looks at various texts from The Idea of a University, and Atlantis, the journal of the Catholic University of Dublin, founded by Newman. The imagination leads to knowledge of concrete things, unlike science, which abstracts from concrete things. The author describes Newman’s idea of reasoning through the imagination and the impressions it makes. Through this mode of reasoning , together with converging ideas and personal judgments, we...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 214-217
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.