Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Romance of Religion by Dwight Longenecker

Do you know what reading this book reminded me of? It was G.K Chesterton. I'm not kidding. But since the author is also a Catholic, perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised.

While I don't agree with Catholic theology, this book is thankfully devoid of that. Instead, it's a book on the need for romance (specifically, the romance that religion brings) in this world.

The book wanders through the reason why we need romance (and why it is real), the heroics and fights (the fight for Life, Beauty and Love), stories and romance, and finally, the nature of this romance and how it relates to Christianity.

I'll be honest, I love this book because of the language. In fact, I marked out a lot of stuff. Take a look at a few of these quotes:

Talking about ideas:

"Like Achilles, the hero who forgot his heel, or like Icarus who, flying close to the sun, forgot that his wings were made of wax, we should be wary when triumphant ideas seem unassailable, for then there is all the more reason to predict their downfall."

On Madness:

"Because we are limited in our knowledge, even the sanest of us are slightly insane. Our limitations are a kind of madness, and we can only choose to deny we are mad, and so descend into a dark spiral of total insanity, or accept we are mad and embark on a quest to regain our true and wholesome sanity"

On Ideologies:

"Idealogues attempt to create heaven here on earth, and their ideologies, like all false gods, demand far more than they deliver, and what they demand is life itself. ... ... This is because ideologies live for an idea - they do not live for life - and any ideology that does not put put life first will invariable put it last"

If these quotes all seem so disparate, well, just know that they're tied up with the idea of romance and the romantic hero.

Even though I have a lot of other books to read and review, I have a feeling that I'll be re-reading this book soon - It's worth another read.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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