Friday, October 24, 2014

A list

The Church Times,"the world's leading Anglican newspaper," provides a selection of the "100 best Christian books."
.... Best is, of course, a value judgement. We have kept it for this project because it is so obviously subjective. “Best” does not just cover a book’s intrinsic worth: it also prompts a consideration of what a book can achieve. Throughout our debate, we found ourselves balancing a title’s historical position with its place in our memories. A different set of judges on a different day — perhaps even the same set of judges — would certainly have come up with a different list. ....

An influential phrase from early on was “enduring value”.... It meant that we were drawn to books that had made an impact, and that this impact had been tested by time. It also meant that, with more modern titles, we had to judge how they would be viewed by future generations. ....

We decided early on to exclude the Bible and liturgy, such as the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient & Modern: they were judged to be too seminal, too much woven into the Church’s life to be considered as books in themselves. Besides, they would have blocked the top places in the list. .... [more]
The list is interesting and I would judge pretty good even though I know many of the works only by reputation and a few of them are entirely unfamiliar to me. I am somewhat embarrassed that I have read so few and those primarily titles the judges would consider "modern" and thus not yet time-tested.

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