"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Herbert McCabe's Legacy

I have previously on here, and elsewhere, talked about what I have learned from the English Dominican Herbert McCabe, who died nearly two decades ago now. In a time when, in this country, too much of Catholic Christianity has veered rightward and in some instances become little more than a capitalistic cult around that vile figure in the White House, McCabe keeps alive hope for some of us that it is possible to be perfectly orthodox in theology and perfectly radical in working for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. (Dorothy Day, of course, is the other hopeful and helpful model here.)

So I am very cheered indeed to report the recent publication of Franco Manni's new book, Herbert McCabe: Recollecting a Fragmented Legacy (Cascade, 2020), 300pp.

About this welcome new work the publisher tells us this:
Herbert McCabe struck those who met him (Alasdair MacIntyre, Anthony Kenny, Terry Eagleton, Denys Turner) or those who read his writings (David Burrell, Stanley Hauerwas) for his high intelligence. He was the most intelligent philosopher after the death of Karl Popper. His philosophical inquiries on God and the Human Being have yet to be properly understood, not because they were abstruse (clarity was McCabe’s inexorable sword!) but because of their dizzying depth, for which many are not yet prepared.
This is the first comprehensive study of McCabe, a person who preferred speaking to writing and left only the short—fragmented and dispersed—texts of his lectures and sermons. But in this book, to use David Burrell’s words, Manni has “managed to get inside McCabe’s mind” and assemble together for the first time the disiecta membra of a powerful system of thought.

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