List of Publications and Biographical Information
Léonie and Stratford Caldecott
Léonie Caldecott, MA (Oxon.) was educated at the French Lycée in London and Oxford University, where she read French and Philosophy. The winner of the Catherine Pakenham Award for Young Women Journalists, she has written for secular newspapers and magazines as well as for religious ones on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Sunday Times, Village Voice, New York Times Book Review, Il Sabato, Communio, Catholic World Report, Inside the Vatican, National Catholic Register, Touchstone, The Catholic Herald and The Chesterton Review. Two of her articles have been reprinted in The Best Spiritual Writing series. Mrs. Caldecott contributed to the BBC TV series Women of Our Century, and wrote the book that accompanied it. She has written on Blessed John Henry Newman for CTS, and Caryll Houselander for British Catholic Heroines (Gracewing). Her most recent books are What Do Catholics Believe? (Granta, 2008) and The Children of Thérèse (CTS, 2009). She is the author of two plays, Divine Comedy: A Thérèsian Mystery Play, and The Quality of Mercy about Blessed John Paul II, both of which have been performed in Oxford. The mother of three children, she lives in Oxford with her husband Stratford, with whom she co-founded the Centre for Faith & Culture, is Tutor in Humanities for the Oxford Program of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, and co-edits the journal of the Centre, Second Spring. She is also co-editor of the UK and Ireland edition of Magnificat. As a catechist and mother she has engaged in many initiatives for young people, including the book series “Second Spring Catechesis.” For further information go to www.secondspring.co.uk.
Stratford Caldecott, MA (Oxon.), FRSA, studied Philosophy and Psychology as an undergraduate at Hertford College, Oxford. After leaving university he followed his father’s footsteps into publishing, becoming a religious and theological editor after 1980. Formerly a senior editor at Routledge, HarperCollins, T&T Clark, and Sophia Institute Press, he is currently a commissioning editor for the Catholic Truth Society in London. He is also the editor of the international journal Second Spring, co-director of Second Spring Oxford (secondspring.co.uk), co-editor of the UK and Ireland edition of Magnificat, and editor of the online book-review journal Humanum (see www.humanumreview.com). He has organized and spoken frequently at conferences, taught at a number of colleges, and has written and published widely on Christian apologetics, theology, and cultural themes in magazines and newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic, including the National Catholic Register, Touchstone, This Rock, Parabola, Communio, The Chesterton Review, and Oasis. Stratford lives with his wife Léonie in Oxford, where he is the G.K. Chesterton Research Fellow at St Benet’s Hall. For a list of his published books, see below. For further information go to www.secondspring.co.uk.
An explanation of his work
Stratford studied Philosophy and Psychology for his undergraduate degree at Oxford, and went on to become a publisher with Routledge, HarperCollins, and later T&T Clark. An interest in the Christian religion developed through his friendship with the woman who was later to be his wife and lifelong collaborator, Léonie Richards, leading to his conversion and reception into the Catholic Church in 1980. (Léonie was received a couple of years later.)
Stratford became a member of the Editorial Board of the US edition of the journal Communio, which had been founded in the 1970s by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, and Joseph Ratzinger. The influence of these theologians on Stratford’s work was deep and lasting, along with that of Pope John Paul II, the Pope of his and Léonie’s conversions.
Though Stratford never studied theology at university, his work with Communio and T&T Clark gave him opportunities to pursue a growing interest in the subject. In 2005 he was appointed G.K. Chesterton Research Fellow at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, and in September 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Theology by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC.
Stratford’s research interests include the following questions: (1) The relationship between Faith and Imagination; (2) The importance of Symbolism and Mystagogy; (3) Education as the key to Evangelization, (4) Interfaith Dialogue, and (5) Human and Environmental Ecology. In each of these areas Stratford has given lectures and written or edited books and articles. Most of his books began as essays or talks given at conferences. The following list is in order of publication.
The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind The Lord of the Rings (Crossroad, 2005, 2012)
Originally called Secret Fire when first published by DLT, the book was translated into several foreign language editions including Spanish, Italian, and Russian, and re-issued by Crossroad in an expanded edition in 2012. The Power of the Ring, unlike most other books published on Tolkien’s writing, explores the spiritual, theological, and philosophical meaning of the work – Tolkien’s faith, which was influenced by the Oratory of St Philip, his attempt to recover the spirit of England that had been almost lost in the two World Wars, his theology of creation and the importance of the human imagination as a means of apprehending truth, as well as the spiritual aesthetics of virtue. In The Lord of the Rings and his other works Tolkien was creating a vehicle in which to transmit to future generations the “light” of a poetic knowledge that is fast dying out and in many places has been entirely forgotten, depriving us of a vital dimension of our humanity. This theme of “spiritual light” was taken up again in the book The Radiance of Being in 2013.
The Seven Sacraments: Entering the Mysteries of God (Crossroad, 2006)
The first of two books Stratford has written on mystagogy (the sacramental mysteries of the Church), The Seven Sacraments looks at a range of important sevenfold structures in Scripture and Tradition (such as the seven virtues, the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, the seven days of creation, and the seven Last Words from the Cross), exploring significant correlations between them, and arguing that greater attention should be paid by biblical scholars to numerical symbolism in the inspired text as a whole. The book was intended to open up an approach to the Catholic faith based on a deeper appreciation of its organic unity – the result of divine inspiration.
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education (Brazos, 2009)
The first of two introductory books on the Seven Liberal Arts, Beauty for Truth’s Sake concentrates on the Quadrivium; that is, the four cosmological subjects on which classical learning once depended, both as preparation for the study of philosophy and theology, and as the basis of an education for intellectual and spiritual freedom. After looking at the classical and medieval tradition, the book traces the way our secular society developed, and the problems this has created in present-day higher education and the culture at large. It suggests ways in which the arts and sciences, faith and reason, could be put back together again, after a long period of estrangement that has created a civilization both deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous.
All Things Made New: The Mysteries of the World in Christ (Angelico Press/Sophia Perennis, 2011)
A second book on mystagogy explores the mysteries of Mary and John, including the Rosary of the Virgin Mary, and the Book of Revelation. While The Seven Sacraments had concentrated on examining patterns of 7, the new book examines the use made of the numbers 12 and 4 by biblical and patristic writers – demonstrating once again the merits of reading Scripture and Tradition in the light of faith, with an eye to the underlying structure. The book includes reflections on cosmology and liturgy and a meditation on the Way of the Cross, while the appendices include a brief introduction to Jewish and Greek number symbolism (Gematria), a survey of different methods of biblical exegesis, and an article about the ideas of Dr Margaret Barker.
Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education (Angelico Press, 2012)
The second of two books on the Seven Liberal Arts – this one is about the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, re-interpreted in a way that enables them to be used as the framework for a renewal of the modern educational system, especially at primary level. “Remembering”, “Thinking”, and “Communicating” become the foundations of a curriculum in which all school subjects can be taught in a more integrated manner. These basic human skills develop naturally out of an understanding of our nature as created in the image of God – created for self-gift in the image of the Trinity. The book also examines questions related to authority and ethos within the school. Like Beauty for Truth’s Sake, this book is being used for curriculum design by teachers and parents in Britain and the United States.
The Radiance of Being: Dimensions of Cosmic Christianity (Angelico Press, 2013)
The Radiance of Being explores the meaning and implications of the divine Trinity as a basis for understanding the cosmos. Beginning with the concept of “light” in modern science and cosmology, the book goes on to explore the relation of science to faith, and then the questions that arise from the differences between religions and the tensions between religious communities. The uniqueness of Christianity is shown to lie in the Incarnation and Trinity, but this does not justify aggressive polemics or religious violence. The book culminates in an appreciation of the Russian idea of “godmanhood” and divine Wisdom or Sophia.
Not As the World Gives: The Way of Creative Justice (Angelico Press)
With a focus on the nuptial mystery at the heart of the universe, Not As the World Gives integrates the social teaching of the Church with the spirituality of the Sermon on the Mount. Beginning with Plato’s insights into the nature of Justice, the book explores the history of Christian charity and the meaning of mercy and the virtues, the threats posed to civilization by modern technology, the true nature of human freedom and of “good work”, the challenge of New Evangelization, the foundations of the Way of Beauty, and how to renew a Christian culture. The aim of the book is to show how the “radiance of being” can shine through, not just the natural, but also the social and cultural world.
Catholic Social Teaching: A Way In (2001, 2003, 2007)
A summary of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church
Understanding the New Age Movement (2006)
A history and survey of “alternative” spiritualities
Companion to the Book of Revelation (2008)
A condensed version of material contained in All Things Made New
Catholicism and Other Religions (2009)
A study of the Catholic attitude towards and teaching about the other world religions
Fruits of the Spirit (2010)
A meditation on the twelve Fruits of the Spirit in Catholic tradition
These three books are all based on conferences held in Oxford.
Beyond the Prosaic: Renewing the Liturgical Movement (T&T Clark, 1999)
Eternity in Time: Christopher Dawson and the Catholic Idea of History (T& T Clark, 1997) – edited with John Morrill
Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration (Walking Tree Books, 2008) – edited with Thomas M. Honegger