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The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography…
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The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books, 2) (edició 2019)

de Alan Jacobs (Autor)

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1593134,067 (4.05)1
"While many of us are familiar with such famous words as, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here." or "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," we may not know that they originated with The Book of Common Prayer, which first appeared in 1549. Like the words of the King James Bible and Shakespeare, the language of this prayer book has saturated English culture and letters. Here Alan Jacobs tells its story. Jacobs shows how The Book of Common Prayer--from its beginnings as a means of social and political control in the England of Henry VIII to its worldwide presence today--became a venerable work whose cadences express the heart of religious life for many.The book's chief maker, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, created it as the authoritative manual of Christian worship throughout England. But as Jacobs recounts, the book has had a variable and dramatic career in the complicated history of English church politics, and has been the focus of celebrations, protests, and even jail terms. As time passed, new forms of the book were made to suit the many English-speaking nations: first in Scotland, then in the new United States, and eventually wherever the British Empire extended its arm. Over time, Cranmer's book was adapted for different preferences and purposes. Jacobs vividly demonstrates how one book became many--and how it has shaped the devotional lives of men and women across the globe"--… (més)
Membre:mwiebe
Títol:The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books, 2)
Autors:Alan Jacobs (Autor)
Informació:Princeton University Press (2013), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography de Alan Jacobs

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I thoroughly enjoyed Alan Jacobs' The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography, which delivers on its title, serving up a concise history of this uniquely Anglican book, from its origins at the pen of Thomas Cranmer to the various efforts to modernize it. Three minor criticisms: first, the book is too short, and left me wanting more (this is of course a positive from a glass-half-full perspective). Second, and more gravely, the book lacks an overt bibliography, which would seem to be essential for a concise book of this nature from a university press (there are however several references scattered throughout the notes, but it is left to the reader to gather them).

Third--and not specific to this work but seemingly the case for the majority of academic and quasi-academic works published today--is the presence of endnotes. Endnotes are a vestigial byproduct of the days before modern word processing software. Back in the day, it was easier to type up notes at the end of chapters, because adjusting for pagination would have been quite a chore. This of course has been an automated process for decades, much as calculators automate complex math problems. If a sentence or thought warrants a note--if a note is important enough to be written--then in this day and age it is nothing but an annoyance to have to constantly flip through extra pages to find out what else the author has to say. Put it at the bottom of the page, in a footnote, not an endnote! It is far easier on the reader, and carries no downside. If there are those who nostalgically long for this ancient and inconvenient practice, these are the same types of people who enjoy a Model T hand crank on their daily driver, and are best avoided. (Off soapbox).

This Biography is part of the "Lives of Great Religious Books" from Princeton University Press. Current titles include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Mormon, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, while forthcoming titles include the Analects and the Bhagavad Gita, among many others. I shall be making a point to continue enjoying others in the series, with the hope that bibliographies will become part of the standard format. ( )
  RAD66 | Nov 12, 2020 |
The subject book has a complex history and this book gives great texture to its subject’s frequent use. Though not my tradition, I would remain Anglican had it cradled my belief. This history is part of the soil that anchors the roots of faith and practice and reveals things worth contending for. ( )
  onefear | Jan 11, 2020 |
I enjoyed the first book I read from Princeton University Press' "Lives of Great Religious Books" series (Paul Gutjahr on the Book of Mormon), so when Alan Jacobs' volume on the Book of Common Prayer came out, I was very excited to see it.

Like Gutjahr's, this volume on the BCP is short (just 200 pages), but it packs a hefty punch. Jacobs knows his stuff, and he's shared it in this expertly-crafted book. Jacobs tracks the changes in the BCP during its early life and since, noting the various ways it's been adapted (or not adapted) over the centuries since it was first published. Much of the focus is on the early period of the BCP's existence, but given that most of the excitement happened during that time, this is entirely understandable.

Recommended as an excellent introduction to the BCP, and as with Gutjahr's, Jacobs' book prompted me to go out and buy a few more things related to the BCP. If that's not a sign of a good book, I don't know what is. ( )
3 vota JBD1 | Nov 20, 2013 |
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"While many of us are familiar with such famous words as, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here." or "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," we may not know that they originated with The Book of Common Prayer, which first appeared in 1549. Like the words of the King James Bible and Shakespeare, the language of this prayer book has saturated English culture and letters. Here Alan Jacobs tells its story. Jacobs shows how The Book of Common Prayer--from its beginnings as a means of social and political control in the England of Henry VIII to its worldwide presence today--became a venerable work whose cadences express the heart of religious life for many.The book's chief maker, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, created it as the authoritative manual of Christian worship throughout England. But as Jacobs recounts, the book has had a variable and dramatic career in the complicated history of English church politics, and has been the focus of celebrations, protests, and even jail terms. As time passed, new forms of the book were made to suit the many English-speaking nations: first in Scotland, then in the new United States, and eventually wherever the British Empire extended its arm. Over time, Cranmer's book was adapted for different preferences and purposes. Jacobs vividly demonstrates how one book became many--and how it has shaped the devotional lives of men and women across the globe"--

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