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MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 27

Stephen Gurney, "John Henry Newman: The Poetics of Devotion"

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(From Modern Age, Fall 2000.)

English professor, Stephen Gurney, takes a closer look at John Henry Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons, which Newman preached at Oxford between 1828 and 1841 before his conversion to Roman Catholicism. John Henry Newman is best known for his role in England's Oxford Movement, a movement which — as Gurney describes — “fused the pre-Reformational spirit of the Catholic Church with the poetic richness of English Romanticism.” In this essay, Stephen Gurney shows how in his sermons, Newman draws the listener in through the craft and beauty of his prose — and, for those who heard his sermons, Newman’s entrancing voice — while nonetheless removing himself from the spotlight in order to convey his listeners to the True Presence of Christ. With a delicate and sophisticated balance of subjective devotion and sacramental ecclesiology, Newman’s sermons invite the whole person to participate in a spiritual journey that ends in an encounter with the Divine. $2

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 145

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Guests on Volume 145: David I. Smith, on Christian teaching as a set of practices that accords with Christian content; Bruce Hindmarsh, on the rise of the conversion narrative in early Evangelicalism; Jason Baxter, on the psychological subtlety in Dante’s Divine Comedy; John Fea, on the entanglement of American evangelicals and politics; Laurie Gagne, on the spiritual longing of French philosopher Simone Weil; and Matthew O'Donovan, on singing Renaissance polyphony with Stile Antico.

Areopagus Lecture 6

D. C. Schindler: “For Freedom Set Free”

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Philosopher D. C. Schindler discusses the Christian notion of religious liberty as a synthesis of the Jewish, Roman, and Greek traditions. In the Jewish tradition, one receives a theological understanding of freedom understood as freedom from bondage and from sin in order to more fully enter into a loving covenant with God. In the Roman tradition, freedom exists in relation to one’s membership within a polis and is established through legal codes. This objective political presence is internalized and personalized through the education of virtuous citizens. And in the Greek tradition, freedom is understood in relation to nature, on the one hand through membership in a tribe by kinship, and on the other hand, through participation in the Good, which is at the source of all being. Christianity, argues Schindler, is precisely the “receiving, healing, and transforming [of these] three distinct traditions” and Christian freedom is their “flourishing integration.” $4

Areopagus Lecture 5

Alison Milbank: Imaginative Apologetics beyond C. S. Lewis

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In Alison Milbank's Areopagus Lecture, titled “Imaginative Apologetics beyond C. S. Lewis,” Milbank offers an approach to defending the Christian faith that restores the imagination as a faculty inseparable from reason. By using C. S. Lewis as a conversation partner — along with Owen Barfield, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, G. K. Chesterton, and Novalis — Milbank explores how the imagination is not just an instrumental means to an objective end, but the ecstatic and receptive means by which we participate in what is True and Real. $4.

MARS HILL AUDIO Book 8

For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann

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MARS HILL AUDIO presents the first available audiobook of Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s classic work on theology and liturgy, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy. Fr. Schmemann begins his essay into the sacraments of the Church with the observation that man is a hungry being and that the world is presented to him as his food. Man must eat in order to have life. Read by Ken Myers. $15.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 141

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Guests on Volume 141: Grant Wythoff, on the technophiliac obsessions of Hugo Gernsback, the geeky midwife of modern science fiction; Susanna Lee, on how the hard-boiled protagonists of crime fiction in the 1930s and 40s were replaced by more nihilistic tough guys in the 1950s and 60s; Gerald R. McDermott, on how the work of theologian E. L. Mascall can expose blind spots in contemporary Christian thought; Carlos Eire, on how and why religion became “interiorized” in the wake of the reformations of the sixteenth century; Kelly Kapic, on theology’s use of experience and why the Incarnation is the ground of Christian hope; and James Matthew Wilson, on the beauty of truth and goodness, and on the necessity of cultivating “intellectual vision.”

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 30

Rebecca DeYoung on Vainglory, the Forgotten Vice

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In this conversation, philosopher Rebecca DeYoung explains how the language of vices speaks to patterns or narratives in our lives in a way that is distinct from “original sin” and from “sin as moments or acts of rule-breaking.” Drawing from the wisdom of the Desert Fathers, DeYoung describes vainglory and the other “deadly sins” as capital vices from which more vices may materialize. 56 minutes $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 29

Brand Luther: Andrew Pettegree on Martin Luther, Printing, and the Making of the Reformation

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It is often noted that Martin Luther’s Reformation could never have advanced the way it did without the technology of the printing industry. While the coincidence of Luther and the printing press undoubtedly contributed to the Reformation’s rapid spread, the printing world at the time of Luther was largely under the patronage of the Catholic church, and it was not inevitable, according to Andrew Pettegree, that “print would become an agent of insurrection.” In his book, Brand Luther, historian Andrew Pettegree shows how Luther’s facility for writing in German and his intuitive business sense not only spread ideas and incited controversy, but completely transformed the distribution model of the printing industry. 56 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 140

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Guests on Volume 140: Matthew Rubery, on the history of the “talking book,” and on how reading aloud differs from listening to it being read; James Herrick, on the “post-human” aspirations of the transhumanist movement, and how its plausibility is established by stories; Jack Baker & Jeffrey Bilbro, on lessons that universities should heed from Wendell Berry’s essays, poetry, and fiction about commitment to living in a place; Timothy Gloege, on the influence of business methods on 20th-century evangelicalism through the shaping of Moody Bible Institute; David Hollinger, on how the sons and daughters of mid-20th-century missionaries to Asia came back to the U.S. and influenced government, journalism, and the academy; and Barrett Fisher, on the themes of the challenge of faithfulness as presented in Shusaku Endo’s Silence and in Martin Scorsese’s film version.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 139

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Guests on Volume 139: W. Bradford Littlejohn, on post-Reformation debates about the meaning of freedom; Simon Oliver, on how the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is a doctrine about God (and not just the origin of the universe); Matthew Levering, on the necessity of God’s wisdom in the doctrine of creation; Esther Lightcap Meek, on Michael Polanyi’s case that making contact with reality is a process of discovery; Paul Tyson, on resisting our modern assumptions about knowledge in favor of knowledge that is grounded in wonder; and David Fagerberg, on acquiring a liturgical posture in everyday life.

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