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Church Chapel and the Unitarian Conspiracy
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ISBN: 978 1 857541 23 6
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: October 1995
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
'A gathered church.'
That posy, the elect,
Was gathered in, not into, garden-walls;
For God must out of sheer caprice resect
The jugular stalks of those He culls and calls.
Watts thought his church, though scant of privilege,
Walled in its own communion. In its walks
Some may have doubted if so sparse a hedge
Tempered the blast to blooms still on their stalks.
from 'Dissentient Voice: A Gathered Church'
Donald Davie has insisted -- even as he was writing about Modernism and
Ezra Pound -- on an area of English literature, history and spirituality
misread and misvalued in a secular age when the churches are themselves at
pains to dilute or deny the conflicts, sermons, hymns and tracts which
defined and energised their chapel lives. Davie neither dilutes nor denies:
he reappraises with scholarly, searching love the elements from which his
culture and imagination are shaped.
He edited the Oxford Book of Christian Verse and the Penguin Book
of Psalms. This volume brings together his 1976 Clark Lectures (Cambridge),
the 1980 Ward-Phillips Lectures (Notre Dame) and related material,
illuminating the political and spiritual heritage of distinctively English
This volume completes Carcanet's programme of collecting the prose
writings of Donald Davie.
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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