Resourcing the Culture 2 April, 2014

Second Spring at The Centre for Faith & Culture

Second Spring began as a magazine supplement in 1992 and at the dawn of the new century became the journal of the Centre for Faith & Culture in Oxford. Out of this grew Second Spring Oxford, founded by Léonie and Stratford Caldecott and managed by their daughter Teresa – a small consultancy devoted to the evangelisation of culture through events, education, and publishing. Find us on social media: TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

You are also encouraged to visit Stratford Caldecott’s personal blogs: Beauty in Education and All Things Made New. Selected articles from these blogs also appear on the Imaginative Conservative site.


BOOKINGS ARE STILL OPEN for our 2014 Centre for Faith & Culture Oxford Summer School in conjunction with The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, NH. The two week programme is titled ‘Between Tiber and Thames: The Soul of Post-Reformation England’, and will take place 7th-21st August. Undergraduate students wishing to participate and gain accreditation should apply via Thomas More. All others should email Teresa at [email protected].

We will be exploring the history, literature, and spirituality of Catholic Britain from its flowering in the late middle ages through the period of destruction and persecution and into its resurgence in the modern age. Focusing on the lives, context, style, and impact of writers such as Shakespeare, John Henry Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton, and the Inklings, we look at the vocation of the Christian and most importantly the Catholic writer in witnessing to Christ in a hostile environment. We also wrestle with the deeper question of what it means to be human, and examine the vision of humanity imperilled by the English Reformation, which the writers of the 19th– and 20th– century Catholic Revival tried to recover and reclaim. Details will be found on our ‘Summer School‘ page on the left.

RECENTLY the second in our Interfaith Colloquium Series in conjunction with The Tabah Foundation was held at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford on Saturday 1st March. The series brings together Christian and Islamic thinkers to engage in a conversation about notions of society, the secular, and the human vocation. The topic was ‘Humanising Work’, and the speakers were Dr Karim Lahham (stone carver and barrister), Warwick Pethers (traditional Gothic architect), Roy Peachey  (teacher and writer), and Dr Talal al-Azem (Oriental Institute and Pembroke College).

We’ve also been delighted to be involved in several interesting conferences, including two in Spain organised by Universidad CEU San Pablo and Fundacion Maior, and the English Chesterton Society’s March spectacular in Beaconsfield. Keep up the good work everyone!
You may also be interested in the upcoming Pentecost Lectures given by Second Spring editor, Carol Zaleski at Pluscarden Abbey.

A new and improved edition 
of The Mass Illustrated for Children is available now for pre-orders! This popular booklet is designed not just to keep a child quiet during Mass but as a rich resource for parents and catechists to use to explain what happens in the liturgy to young children – to stimulate both faith and imagination. Discounts are available on orders of 25+ copies. 

And why not try some of the other titles in our colouring book series? Scott Hahn’s introduction to the Bible for children (God’s Covenant with You), and Meet the Angels are illustrated by David Clayton in the style of classical icons and illuminations, and are available for only £1.95 each, along with Teach Me Therese on the life of St Therese of Lisieux illustrated by Susan Bateman. Books in the Second Spring Catechesis series are available in the UK by emailing [email protected], texting 07836 520597, or leaving a voice message on 01798 343718. If you are in the USA you can order via Thomas More College. See the books in action in this featurette or Second Spring Catechesis film.

Stratford Caldecott‘s long-awaited book on Catholic Social Teaching, Not As the World Gives: The Way of Creative Justice, will be out very soon from Angelico Press, under the brand new Second Spring imprint! The prequel, The Radiance of Being: Dimensions of Cosmic Christianity, also from Angelico Press, is available for purchase through us (email [email protected]), along with his other Angelico Press titles, Beauty in the Word and All Things Made New. We also have in stock his book on the great Catholic writer J.R.R. Tolkien and the spiritual meaning of Middle-earth, The Power of the Ring, which was released recently by Crossroad as an expanded and revised edition of the now out-of-print Secret Fire published by DLT. A Spanish edition of the same book, El poder del Anillo, is now available as well as Italian and Russian translations. You can read more about books by the Directors of Second Spring under ‘Books>Recommended Books’ in the navigation menu.

Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of EducationStratford’s sequel to Beauty for Truth’s Sake, completing his study of the seven Liberal Arts, was published in 2012 with a Foreword by Antony Esolen. Education is in crisis, and new possibilities are opening up all the time, but any genuine reform will have to be based on an understanding of what education is for. Teachers and parents are invited to join our growing network to share ideas and discuss initiatives. Follow the link to find out more (and read an article on the whole project here). Angelico Press have a Facebook page for the book and related works that you can join to become part of the conversation. The book is available through Amazon. Read the interview.

CATHOLICISM AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE  The eighth issue of Humanum, the free online book review journal of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC, edited by Stratford & Leonie, is available here. It features papers from a conference with the Mayo Clinic. The previous issue was on problems caused by technology in the home. These and other topics are examined through articles and book reviews by contributors familiar with the Christian anthropology of John Paul II.

Step by step, Humanum is examining the pressing issues of our time as they affect the most vulnerable members of society, and includes a round-up of relevant life, health, and family news from around the world. Follow the links and click for a free subscription so that we can alert you each time a new issue is published! Upcoming issues include one on contemporary threats to the extended family, including many of the issues surrounding urban development.

SECOND SPRING JOURNAL  Our seventeenth issue, on The Economy, includes readable articles by John Medaille, Edward Hadas, Michael Black, and others, with poetry by Megan Furman. As controversy rages around the critique of capitalism to be found in Evangelii Gaudium, read about modern Distributism in action, about the debate with Neoconservatism, and about the Crisis of the Corporation. The previous issue was on the theme of Holy Vessels for all you Grail seekers out there, and included articles by Duncan Stroik, Margaret Atkins, Jerome Bertram CO, Margaret Truran OSB, Léonie Caldecott, and others. You can purchase back issues (including PDFs) from Thomas More College in the USA, or contact us at the Oxford office. The upcoming issue will have a focus on Theodrama (Theology and Theatre), and is edited by Léonie Caldecott. Find out how to renew or subscribe by emailing [email protected]

MAGNIFICAT  The popular monthly prayer book and missal MAGNIFICAT, well known in the US, which we edit here in Oxford for the UK and Ireland, is also available as a iPhone/iPad app. It contains spiritual meditations for every day of the year by the great writers and saints of our tradition, with a beautiful cover as well as high-quality artwork to accompany an art essay in each issue. Several brand new features will be introduced in December. MAGNIFICAT is a wonderful aid to daily prayer and meditation, even if you can’t get to Mass each day. The UK/ Ireland/ Australia edition is edited from our office in Oxford and can be viewed online here. (It is on Twitter and Facebook too.)


OASIS  Issue 17 of this very important international journal founded by Cardinal Angelo Scola is now available, and the theme picks up two of our interests – interfaith dialogue, and the future of the economy. Titled “The Economy Called Into Question“, this issue of Oasis relates the deep economic questions raised by the global crisis to the ongoing political crisis going on in the Middle East and North Africa, with articles by Edward Hadas, Michael Naughton, and a host of others, plus book reviews and news. The Oasis website is a great place to go for informed coverage of events.

G.K. CHESTERTON  The CHESTERTON LIBRARY (Charity No. 1134101), curated by the Centre for Faith & Culture for several years, has now moved to the Oxford Oratory’s new study centre devoted to Newman and the Literary Revival. Academic and Christian interest in G.K. Chesterton is growing worldwide, and the study centre will contain a room dedicated to him where this unrivalled collection of books and memorabilia will be made accessible to scholars and visitors, although funds are still urgently required to finish the project and to shelve the books and display miscellanea. If you wish to become a supporter either of the Oratory Building project or the Library Trust itself, go to the Library page where relevant links are maintained.

SIERRA LEONE CHESTERTON CENTRE  was started by a former student of Plater College and Oxford University, John Kanu, and is a centre for community-led sustainable development inspired by the ideals of G.K. Chesterton in one of the world’s poorest countries. It is helping to revitalize the rural economy on which the country depends. The Centre desperately needs equipment and tools, ranging from scissors to computers and generators. Detailed information is available on request. Help if you can!

IMAGINATIVE CONSERVATIVE  If you haven’t already come across this online journal ‘for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful’, we would like to recommend you waste no time in getting acquainted! With a hearty dose of several essays a day on culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the leading thinkers in Imaginative Conservatism (Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Irving Babbitt, Christopher Dawson…), the community provides much food for thought. Stratford and Léonie are both regular contributors.

HUMANITAS  This important international journal of Christian anthropology and culture, from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, is also available in a beautifully produced English language edition. The first English-language issue is about the legacy of Pope John Paul II, the second has a number of important articles on Pope Benedict’s call for a broadening of human reason, the third  is on the theme of the Year of Faith. The fourth is a tribute to Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, and contains a profound analysis of our cultural crisis from Archbishop Bergoglio, as well as lavishly illustrated articles on modernity, Hildegard of Bingen, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and J.R.R. Tolkien. The FIFTH ISSUE is now published, and reflects on the year of two popes. Each issue can be read online with free registration. Also now available for free download from the Humanum site is a Vademecum or Handbook of John Paul II’s anthropology, plus a selection of other useful and important documents from John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Stratford, Léonie, Teresa, & Sophie Caldecott