George Herbert (1593-1633) is one of English spirituality's most treasured voices and, with his contemporaries Lancelot Andrewes Izaak Walton and Nicholas Ferrar, he epitomises the best of the 17th century Anglican tradition - learned, holy and self-effacing. Before settling down as a country parish priest - a calling that was cut short by his early death aged 39 - he was a complex character who led a varied life in politics and academia. His inner tensions resulted in memorable writing and a rich spirituality. Here, Philip Sheldrake explores themes in Herbert's work that stand out as most important: his deep biblical and liturgical roots, his Christ-centred spirituality, his emphasis on the importance of the everyday, his strong sense of place, his understanding of discipleship, his approach to prayer, and, his spirituality of service. Richly illustrated with excerpts from his poetry, prose and letters, this volume offers a comprehensive study guide to one of the most loved poetic voices.
PHILIP SHELDRAKE is Professorial Research Fellow in the Dept of Religion and Theology at the University of Durham. He has written extensively in the field of spirituality and is editor of The SCM Dictionary of Spirituality.
'Philip Heldrake brings a pastoral sensitivity to bear on selections from "The Temple" and "The Country Parson" ... This volume reminds us that the metaphysical poets continue to speak to audiences beyond the literary academy. Shakespeareans have been almost the only early modernists to cultivate relationships between the academy and the nonacademic world. This volume suggests that specialists in other aspects of premodern culture may have a wider audience than they think.'