4 comments on “The Living Word is God

  1. Yes – saw this – and if I get a chance I’ll blog about it, especially that last line, linking with Rev (the Bishop offering counselling!) and Neil Gaiman’s vision of hell in Sandman. Great stuff.

  2. You may have to explain the Neil Gaiman Sandman reference. I’m a recent convert to his work (American Gods) but strangely I’ve been expecting Clive James to mention him at any moment. Nothing specific, just resonances of tone and topics converging. Exciting times I feel.

  3. I resonate with some of this, though some of it is the special kind of snobbery of the literary man. James states, centrally, that “the only civilised condition for a religion, [… is to provide a spiritual structure for private life”. It is here, of course, that the Christian must disagree most profoundly. Truth is public truth, a matter of justice and peace and the common good, not mere piety. I would agree that Establishment is a problem and – at many levels – an anachronism, but we do still need to insist upon a notion of the public space which is alive to the insights of faith, not exclusive of them…

  4. If it’s the “private” emphasis you’re taking exception to then I would agree – and in Clive James’ defence, I’m not sure he really does emphasise that in general. Remember I just gave you a selectively snipped quote there. The rest of his morality thrust is very much about public expression and action – private (as in individual) responsibilities lived and shared in public.

    (No escaping his well-read erudition though, talking on a more elitist plane – which he would also defend. Some things, like the Bible here, do not benefit from being dumbed down. Hard work and effort have their value, etc.)

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