Jacob Aitken's Reviews > Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth

Angels in the Architecture by Douglas Wilson
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Angels in the Architecture (AA) is a bold book. And when it is wrong in factual assertions, it is magnificently wrong. Ok, seriously. The authors propose against the stale, bloody worldview of modernity a rich, robust *paleo* medieval worldview rooted in Protestant Theology. My review will come from a number of angles.



*What if Tolkien were a Calvinist?*

The subtitle suggests Tolkienesque themes. But isn't the subtitle contradictory? Tolkien was a *Catholic!* This book (AA) should not be read as a historical survey of the middle ages that ends with the convenient conclusion, "Oh, the middle ages happened to be thoroughly protestant after all." No, this book reads as a reconstruction of the Christian worldview-praxis drawing from the finest elements of Medievalism. .



Pros of the Book:

1. Its hauntingly beautiful style. Chapters 2 and 3 are worth memorizing. They will teach you how to write well. The sections on Beowulf and "pure northerness" are worth the price of the book.

2. Its boldness. Modern-day Calvinism needs to make Calvinism beautiful. There is nothing wrong with that. Be winsome and witty in presenting the faith. More people might actually become Calvinists, who knows?

3. Its ability to say a lot with a little. At times the authors do engage in sweeping generalizations. Nevertheless, they also express some knotty problems with amazing ease.



Cons of the Book:

~1. Accuracy? Did the Middle Ages really teach this? Probably not. That's not the point, as I suggested earlier. This should be read as a future reconstruction of society along medieval lines, lines which have been purged (no pun intended) of its compromises.

~2. I am not convinced of Wilson's argument for the Authorized Text. He makes a good case, but I am not buying.

~3. The chapter on agrarianism has taken a lot of hits. I actually like it. But I was told that I shouldn't like it, so I acquiesed. Seriously, the authors could have better nuanced it to say "garden-city" as man's telos.
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04/20/2016 marked as: read

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