Posted by: Peadar Ban | September 18, 2012

Thomas More and Second Spring

Now comes Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, a deceptively, unprepossessingly small college hidden behind some trees off a small road in southern New Hampshire.  It is a Catholic Liberal Arts college; one of many such colleges which have grown from seed to new life in the desert that higher education in general, and too much of Catholic higher education in particular, of late have become.  That is to say that it is merely one in a long line of such places which hearken back to the first universities bringing the light of learning to the Dark Ages, as once they were called.  Today, it keeps the light burning, the candle of Wisdom lit against the night which falls once again over the West.

Rather fittingly, perhaps, the TMC campus is physically situated not far from a facility surrounded by high fences within which what one might call the modern dark arts (of U.S. military defense) are practiced and perfected.

Among the lights shining out from that small and quiet place off the road and behind the trees is a journal we happily offer to the interested reader, the discerning reader, the simple reader simply interested in stepping aside and being at once entertained, enlightened, and edified.  Against the muscular darkness of night fed winter  comes the warmth of  Second Spring.

Almost every time I think of this exquisite little journal, Second Spring, I think of the real season, the slowly growing light and warmth, the newly forming buds of trees, the courageous daffodils and returning song birds.  I think of that line from Hopkins great poem, “God’s Grandeur”, which promises the return of that “dearest freshness deep down” which lives in all things.

Some lovely catechetical materials for children are published by Thomas More College on this side of the waters via the Second Spring Press in Oxford, England, home of one of those ancient Christian academies which brought the light of faith and learning to Europe.   Second Spring Press was founded by Stratford and Leonie Caldecott to keep that light glowing, and is as much a part of the mission and purpose of Thomas More College as the buildings, the students, and the men and women on faculty and in administration whose very lives are devoted to passing the light on, to making it bigger and more than ever bright, pushing back the night.

The Second Spring journal comes out just two times each year, each issue built around a theme, a publication meant to accompany its readership intellectually along the Way of Beauty, to help us on our journey from and through our cultural darkness into Faith and Reason’s light.  Subjects regularly covered in Second Spring include the arts, sciences, society, technology, theology, liturgy, ecclesial movements, metaphysics, history, literature, poetry, and the world of books.  It would make an excellent gift to a young scholar just opening, like one of those flowers, to Beauty and Wisdom.

Providing editorial and educational services for the Catholic intellectual community, Second Spring Press is a perfect fit for the kind of work we wish to do here at The Christian Book Corner, offering the very best in Catholic and Christian books and other publications for all ages,  “Chosen with care; chosen with Prayer.”




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