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The Beauty of Holiness: An Introduction to Six Seventeenth-Century Anglican Writers


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The seventeenth century saw the formation of a distinctive Anglican tradition within the Christian Church. A theology, liturgy and spirituality came into being which blended the best from the Roman and Reformed Churches, supplemented by sober discipline combined with tenderness and devotion, and by dedication of the whole person to godly living. These four essays, by Richard Southern, Sister Benedicta Ward SLG, Kathleen Lea, and Mary Chitty, introduce leading Anglican scholars and writers of the era: Archbishop William Laud, Lancelot Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor, Mark Frank, George Herbert and Henry Vaughan.

Sir Richard William Southern (1912 - 2001) published under the name R. W. Southern and was knighted in 1974. He was a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford (1937-61), Chichele Professor of Modern History at Oxford (1961-69) and President of St John’s College, Oxford (1969-81). His book, ‘The Making of the Middle Ages’ (1953), established his reputation as a medievalist, opening up new vistas in medieval history. His main focus was Saint Anselm.

Sister Benedicta Ward SLG entered the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God in 1955. She teaches spirituality in the University of Oxford and is an Emeritus Fellow of Harris Manchester College. She has written a number of books on early monasticism and on the Middle Ages, and is one of the world’s leading writers on the legacy of the Desert Fathers. Her published works include books on the Desert Fathers, the Venerable Bede and St Anselm, and on miracles and relics in the Christian tradition.

Kathleen Marguerite Lea (1903-95), also known as Kate Lea, was born in Chorley, Lancashire and became a scholar of English literature. After a lectureship at Westfield College, London, she returned to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she had taken her first degree. There she was a Fellow (1937-71) and Vice-Principal (1947-71). She was noted for her meticulous editing of Renaissance texts and her love for Italian Renaissance poetry and painting.

Mary Chitty (1905 - 2005) was born Anna Mary Hawthorn Kitson Clark in Leeds. After reading history and archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge, she researched the Roman occupation in northern England and in 1935 published the ‘Gazetteer of Roman Remains in East Yorkshire’. In 1943 she married Derwas Chitty, whom she first met at an archeological site in the Judaean desert. Her annual summer schools from 1944 onwards led to the foundation of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, now part of the University of York. Her last project was the publication in 1992 and 2000 of two volumes of ‘The Monks of Ynys Enlli’ (Bardsey Island, North Wales) covering the years 500 to 1537. She died in Llangwnadl, Wales, months before her one-hundredth birthday.


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65 pages

143 x 222 mm

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