Why a Christian Review?

Deal W. Hudson

December 17, 2014

The aim of practical criticism as embodied in the book review, the movie review, or the music review is pedagogic, and must be so without apology. When well-written, informed, and insightful, reviews instruct all of us in how to better understand what we have read, seen, or heard, or point us in the direction of what it would profit us to read, see, or hear. Sensible people welcome that instruction. The most thoughtful cannot sustain their thoughtfulness without it.

The review space is where the audience for art meets for discussion and argument. It’s the agora without Socrates but with Coleridge, so to speak, who was the father of practical criticism as we know it, which he described as, “intense brooding on a work to grasp its essential quality, and illustrating this by careful and subtle reference to details.”

There were several generations in this country, as well as in England, when many notable reviewers where either Christians or still held a respectful regard for the faith that undergirds our civilization: Among them were, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Cleanth Brooks, Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren who though a non-believer found in Christianity, “the deepest and widest metaphor for life.” Warren’s kind of appreciation was common in the literary community, even the academy, into the 1960s
Those days are long gone, and gone with a ferocity that even those who lived through the change, such as I, did not foresee.

Take almost any major source of book reviews, such as the once-reveredNYRB, and the still highly regarded New York Times Magazine, to the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, the intellectual fusion of politicization and postmodernism over the past 50 years has made them actively hostile to any conservative or Christian voice, unless of course the author is a liberal Christian who cares more about gay marriage than God or a conservative who has been mugged by the elites of his integrity.

To read the remainder at The Christian Review please click on this link.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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