Catholic Art and Culture
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By E. I. Watkin
The Apostle Saint Paul, writes E. I. Watkin, set forth the “the charter of Christian humanism when he wrote, ‘all that is true, all that is seemly, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is loveable, all that is winning, whatever is virtuous or praiseworthy—let such things fill your thoughts.’ ” In this engaging account, first published in 1944, Watkin delimits the character and history of Catholic culture and its expression in art across five major periods. In this cyclical schema, Catholic culture’s early stage meets the decline of pagan antiquity; reaches its summit in the Gothic period and enters the exuberant autumn of the Baroque age; and then confronts the bleak winter of modernity and its attendant materialistic disaffection and irreligion.
An absorbing blend of erudition and effusiveness, Catholic Art and Culture is an accessible survey of how the Catholic Church has served (and continues to serve) as leaven to the world.
The creation of a religion-culture is the imposition of an order, the order whose form that religion supplies, upon the chaos of human lusts warring in the darkness of human ignorance. (E. I. Watkin)
E. I. Watkin (1888–1981) was an English writer and convert to Catholicism. Described by The London Times as “one of the most distinguished Catholic philosophers of his day,” Watkin wrote books and essays on poetry and philosophy, aesthetics and ethics, history and religion, and mysticism and theology. His books include A Philosophy of Form, Neglected Saints, and Poets and Mystics.