Book Lists

I’ve dreamed occasionally of building out several recommended reading lists in various categories (perhaps with links to favorite passages on the rest of this blog). However, the longer that I’m a reader, the less helpful such a task looks. Nonetheless, here is a basic list of “some fundamentals” as I’ve encountered them:

  • Poems and Prose by Gerard Hopkins (edited by W. Gardner)
  • The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God by Robert Louis Wilken
  • Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation by James K.A. Smith
  • For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann
  • The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon [Father Patrick once told me a few others that he hated this title but that his publisher forced it on him. So don’t judge this book by its title.]
  • Christ in the Psalms by Patrick Henry Reardon
  • Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
  • A Guide for the Perplexed by E. F. Schumacher
  • How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor by James K. A. Smith
  • This page contains a reading list for Christian Platonism specifically.

Ancient Cosmology:

  • The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature by C.S. Lewis
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
  • The Biblical Cosmos: A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Weird and Wonderful World of the Bible by Robin A. Parry
  • Song of the Cosmos: An Introduction to Traditional Cosmology by Arthur Versluis (from the non-Christian perspective of perennial philosophy)
  • Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea (Oxford Early Christian Studies) by Alan Scott
  • Dorothy Sayers’ extensive notes to her translation of Dante (which includes cosmology)
  • Works of John Walton, Peter Enns and Michael Heiser
  • Some primary sources: Basil’s Hexaemeron, John of Damascus, and Questions and Answers by Anastasius of Sinai.

Additional books (for myself to read or reread):

  • Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa by Natalie Carnes
  • Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education by James S. Taylor
  • The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • The Embers and the Stars a Philosophical Inquiry into the Moral Sense of Nature by Erazim Kohák
  • Orality and Literacy by Walter J. On
  • The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present by Eric A. Havelock
  • Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan
  • The Classical Trivium: The Place of Thomas Nashe in the Learning of His Time by Marshall McLuhan
  • James Baldwin
  • The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart
  • The Corinthian Body by Dale B. Martin
  • The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges, OP (translated by Mary Ryan)
  • Art and Scholasticism by Jacques Maritain (translated by Joseph Evans) [available online]
  • Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper
  • The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition by James Matthew Wilson
  • The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity by Robert Louis Wilken
  • Roger Scruton:
    • Beauty
    • On Human Nature
    • Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
  • Rousseau
  • Rerum novarum by Leo XIII
  • Utopia of Usurers by G.K. Chesterton
  • The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc
  • What Are People For? by Wendell Berry
  • Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
  • The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place & Community in a Global Age by Mark Mitchell
  • The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History by Edward Casey
  • The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry
  • Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today by Craig Bartholomew
  • Putting Art (Back) in Its Place by John Skillen

Here is a bonus collection of writings on a favorite topic (although most are essays or lectures and not books): Fairies and Other Such Creatures. I have not read it yet, but someone recommended Barfield’s Saving the Appearances as a key starting point with its argument about the “evolution of consciousness.” They also recommended Section IV of Barfield’s poem “Riders on Pegasus.”