This is a place for readers. Read Religiously promotes and thoughtfully engages Christian classics; specifically, obscure Christian classics that few are likely to read outside of seminary or graduate school. These books (and occasionally fragments) aren’t lost or forgotten or esoteric, but simply unread. Read Religiously is a guide through these obscurities from the Christian tradition—ancient, medieval, and modern—and aims to procure for them a wider readership.
The term Christian classics was coined by fifteenth-century Humanists to describe the formative works of the Church; that is, books that are for the Christian tradition what the likes of Homer and Plato were for Classical Greek culture. Regrettably, the significance of a work is not always proportional to its readership. Read Religiously seeks to promote literacy of the Christian classics, with the aim of delighting and edifying, yes, but ultimately of renewing the Church through a ressourcement of her religious legacy. The relevance of many of these book is not confined to the past; a few of them might even speak with greater power today than in their own day.
At Read Religiously, we read these books in the spirit in which they written: that is, by the Church and for the Church. If you are baptized (whatever your tradition), even if you have no scholarly or literary expertise, these books are for you and are, in an important sense, yours.
Although this site is a call to read religiously, we do not expect it to attract religious readers exclusively. Any who are interested in (over)hearing some of the most representative voices from the Christian tradition are welcome.
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 (obligatory) poor production values and (clearly) amateur-level videography, the vlog follows a reader, Blake Adams, in his daily life shared with books. Each episode ends with an oral reading from a work from the Christian tradition. The vlog is about reading, as such, so it moves beyond the subject matter of the Christian classics and discusses books of all kinds, best reading practices, and anything that touches the habit of reading religiously.
I, Blake Adams (B.A., 2014, Patrick Henry College; M.A., 2020, Wheaton College Graduate School), am an essayist, educator, and editor who specializes in Patristic theology and early Christian history. My primary interests lie in early Christian literature and exegesis during the first five centuries, especially as represented in the writings of Origen of Alexandria. My other interests include the history of the English Reformation, the history of the Bible, and the history of Christian art. To finance my writing and reading habits, I make a living as a Latin tutor for the Ancient Language Institute and a copyeditor for Wipf and Stock Publishers. For a portfolio of my little successes, see the Publications page.