Beauty and Meaning
Author Anthony Bloom (ed. James Heywood)
Publisher DLT £19.99
This book reproduces for the first time four lectures on Beauty, originally delivered over forty years ago. The original lecturer was an archbishop, the book carries an introduction by another archbishop, is published by a firm specialising in religious works, and contains numerous biblical references. On the ‘quacks like a duck’ principle, this should be a work of theology. But it isn’t. It is an absorbing work of philosophy, albeit written from a clearly Christian perspective. The author died in 2003 and was highly regarded for his works on meditation and prayer – and these interests recur in varying degrees in all four lectures. I suspect that to academic philosophers of today some of the ideas here may now be dated. However, I was still fascinated, especially by the frequent references to other works in languages other than English. Bloom was a polyglot who brings his internationalism into his thinking as well. I enjoyed this book, but I must conclude that I think its use in parochial ministry would be extremely limited.
Reviewed by ALAN WAKELY