Shakespeare and the Psalms Mystery: Did Shakespeare Help Write the King James Bible?

Shakes46th cover (kindle)

The answer, of course, is ‘no’. The author, Jem Bloomfield, explains over on his blog, Quite Irregular why he decided to write a book whose title is a QTWAIN, but it boils down to ‘because it’s really interesting‘.

If you’re also fascinated by the King James Bible, literary conspiracy theories, Hebrew poetry, translation, Trollope or even Kipling, this might be the book for you.

The story involves the story of Laurence Chaderton, a clergyman who played the role of Queen Hippolyta in a play as a teenager, but who later wrote polemics about how the theatre corrupted society and encouraged unnatural lust.  It involves examining the poetic metres into which the Psalms were translated, and which eventually produced the hymn “All People That On Earth Do Dwell”.  And it involves seeing how Mary Sidney and Edmund Spenser wove the same psalm into their own poetry, and the bravado, piety, and smut they made of it.

Available from Amazon in kindle or paperback.

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Worship, Evelyn Underhill

worship

Worship, in all its grades and kinds, is the response of the creature to the Eternal: nor need we limit this definition to the human sphere. There is a sense in which we may think of the whole life of the Universe, seen and unseen, conscious and unconscious, as an act of worship, glorifying its Origin, Sustainer, and End.

Worship is an Anglican classic, written by Evelyn Underhill, a mystic and spiritual writer of the early twentieth century, whose reputation as a Christian intellectual stands alongside figures such as Dorothy L. Sayers, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. Her writings show a profound interest in the spiritual reality she perceived pressing in on human life from all directions, and a powerful sense of the importance of beauty. In Worship she explores the nature of Christian worship, and the way the different Christian traditions express their beliefs through their worship life. She examines, analyses and sometimes critiques the ways in which Christians worship, producing a powerful and moving account of worship as a central aspect of religious life, and of reality itself.

Liturgical worship shares with all ritual action the character of a work of art. Entering upon it, we leave the lower realism of daily life for the higher realism of a successive action which expresses and interprets eternal truth by the deliberate use of poetic and symbolic material. A liturgical service should therefore possess a structural unity; its general form and movement, and each of its parts, being determined by the significance of the whole. By its successive presentation of all the phases of the soul’s response to the Holy, its alternative use of history and oratory, drama and rhythm, its appeals to feeling, thought, and will, the individual is educated and gathered into the great movement of the Church.

Read more about Underhill and Worship at Quite Irregular, where Jem has included lots of the most quotable passages.