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Read Religiously seeks a wider readership for obscure Christian classics.

A Diabolical Correspondence

Grubgall, I recognize this is your first assignment, so I will try to be gentle. According to your file, your man is young, carnal, baptized, but with a Christian religiosity that is no more developed now than it was a decade ago. You complain that the shame he feels over recurring sins is as stale a pleasure for you as…

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Martin Luther, a Master of Media?

Few figures in history are attributed as many profiles as Martin Luther: Reformer, family man, preacher, revolutionary, heretic, madman, prophet, renegade, or even “demon in the appearance of a man.” In this insightful study, Pettegree investigates a neglected aspect of the great reformer: Luther, the master of media.

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About

Read Religiously promotes and thoughtfully engages obscure Christian classics, here defined as little-known primary sources from all eras of the Christian tradition that can still delight and edify today’s readers. The works are not obscure in the sense of difficult, necessarily, but in the sense that the average reader isn’t likely to engage them—or even hear of them—outside of seminary or graduate school. Read Religiously seeks to arrange a reunion between the average Christian and the still, small voices of her spiritual forebears.

The literary legacy of Christianity is rich and varied. It is not limited to the contributions of philosophers, theologians, and preachers. Read Religiously takes as much interest in poems, songs, fables, and memoirs as in homilies, treatises, allegories, and mystical writings. Full immersion in the Christian tradition drowns the forces of specialization.

Fifteenth-century Humanists first coined the term “Christian classics” to describe those books that are for the Christian tradition what the likes of Homer and Plato were for Classical Greek culture. A Christian classic is a book by a Christian for Christians that left a formative impact we can still trace today, if we know how to recognize it.

The logo of Read Religiously symbolizes the religious heritage which the Church passes down through her books. A white hand extends from above in an open gesture of tradens, “passing down”: the Latin word from which we derive “tradition.” The fingers are subtly arranged in the so-called “El Greco gesture,” a stylistic hand-sign popular in Renaissance art that might have roots in Ignatian spirituality, but which here forms a “w” representing the written word. The hand crosses a field of Tyrian purple, a color associated in the ancient world with royalty and the higher powers of the human being; namely, the mind. The shape of the field, though reminiscing a coat of arms, is that of an open book. The hand seems to pour in from the whiteness beyond the field. Though electing the confines of the word, it exists ontologically beyond and epistemically through the word, and so is not itself thoroughly “word.”

Vlog

Read Religiously promotes a practice of reading that centers on the Christian classics. The vlog is an unlimited series that puts this practice on display. Using poor production values and (clearly) amateur-level videography, the vlog focuses on cultivating a habit of reading. Each episode ends with a reading from the Christian tradition.

Reader

Your guide through these obscurities, Blake Adams (B.A., 2014, Patrick Henry College; M.A., 2020, Wheaton College Graduate School), is an independent scholar, essayist, and editor who specializes in Patristic theology and early Christian history. His primary interests lie in early Christian literature and exegesis, especially as represented in the writings of Origen of Alexandria. Other interests include the history of the English Reformation, the history of the Bible, and the history of Christian art. To finance his writing and reading habits, Blake tutors Latin privately and copyedits manuscripts for Wipf & Stock Publishers. For a portfolio, see the Publications page.

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