George Herbert: The Country Parson, the Temple (Classics of Western Spirituality)

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9780809103171: George Herbert: The Country Parson, the Temple (Classics of Western Spirituality)

George Herbert (1593-1633) lived in England during the tempestuous reigns of James I and Charles I that saw the nation racked by conflict among Catholics, Hugh Churchmen, and Puritans. A member of a politically-active family, Herbert rejected a promising career as a member of Parliament for the simple life of a country parson. While busily involved in his pastoral duties he produced works of poetry and prose that have earned him a long-established place in English literary history.

Collected here are two works originally published after Herbert's death at Bemerton in 1633: The Country Parson, a prose treatise on the duties, joys, and hardships of a pastor's life; and The Temple, a collection of poems. In them the literary genius of this humble priest whose spirituality was a synthesis of Evangelical and Catholic piety is revealed.

Herbert's appeal for today is summed up by A.M. Allchin in his preface to this volume: "Without glossing over the fragility and brokenness of man's experience of life in time, he managed to reaffirm the great unities of Christian faith and prayer. These are the unities which draw together the separated strands in the Christian heritage, which draw together past and present in a living an creative appropriation of tradition."

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About the Author:

George Herbert (15931633) was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was appointed reader in rhetoric in 1618 and public orator in 1620. He attracted the attention of influential patrons, including King James I, before he took holy orders in 1626.
John Tobin is a professor of English literature at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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