John Mason Neale (1818-1866), the famous Victorian divine, hymnologist, novelist, historian, and author of the carol `Good King Wenceslas', was also noted for his interest in ecunemism. This book traces Neale's interest in the Orthodox church, as expressed through his historical writings, translations of Greek hymns, and novels set in the Christian East. The work is based on a wide variety of manuscript and published sources for the subject, and demonstrates how
this leading light in the Anglo-Catholic revival acted as an exemplary interpreter of Byzantium and Eastern Orthodoxy to the Victorian England of his day. In the context of the present time, when
East-West relations are a topical suject, Neale's life and work provide a shining example of how two very different cultures and traditions might approach each other, with fruitful results for both.
`An invaluable addition to this fascinating book is a glossary of the technical terms: how else could one know the meaning of irmos, homokatalexia, or ypakoe?'
Gerard Irvine, Times Literary Supplement
`It is a fine piece of scholarship, yet readable even in its footnotes. There is a useful glossary of Orthodox liturgical terms, and a very full bibliography which includes past numbers of this Bulletin.'
Alan Dunstan, The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland Bulletin 200, Volume Fourteen, Number Three, July 1994
`careful account of Neale's interest in the Orthodox Churches ... Here is a fascinating account of a Victorian Christian's engagement with another culture and its theology, well worth reading.'
Michael Perham, Church Times, September 1994
`the book fills a gap in our understanding of a Victorian churchman's discovery of the eastern branch of Christendom'
Ann Shukman, The Expository Times
`This is the work of a literature specialist used to analysing modern texts. It is an appropriate approach for an understanding of Neale for he is the most literary of all the pioneers of Catholic renewal in the Church of England. ... this is a most stimulating and far ranging introduction to a seminal figure ...'
Judith Pinnington The Glastonbury Bulletin. No.88 Oct '94
`Litvack's analysis of Neale's hymns is particularly valuable, the more so because they have been the major channel of his enduring influence. A detailed knowledge of Greek hymnody enables Litvack to comment perceptively on Neale's skill as a translator, and the problems he faced in rendering the rhythms and conventions of Greek hymnody into English idiom and metre.'
`This is the work of a literature specialist used to analysing modern texts. It is an appropriate approach for an understanding of Neale for he is the most literary of all the pioneers of Catholic renewal in the Church of England ... this is a most stimulating and far ranging introduction to a seminal figure.'
Judith Pinnington, The Glastonbury Bulletin. No. 88, October 1994
`This book fills a gap in the story of the ecumenical movement and of one of its most devoted servants, and for this reason I am glad to recommend it.'
Sister Eileen Mary SLG, Fairacres Chronicle
`Litvack provides a good deal of useful information about Orthodox hymnody, rightly supposing that most readers will be unfamiliar with its origins and structure. Litvack has shown how much Neale himself contributed to this necessary process of mutual learning by making Orthodoxy better known within his own Church.'
Hugh Wybrew, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 46. No. 1, Apr '95
`The fascinating story of efforts by the great English Anglo-Catholic John Mason Neale to understand the Orthodox Church and to create a dialogue between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy ... This book contains a brief biography of Neale, a detailed analysis of his music and literature ... a valuable glossary of Orthodox terminology, and an exhaustive bibliography. The author has studied a broad and admirable range of primary sources ... this study deserves to be
in any respectable collection of Anglo-Catholic literature. It is sound, thorough, and extremely valuable.'
Anglican and Episcopal History
`Litvack's book is by no means a complete analysis of the life and work of John Mason Neale; one finishes Litvack wanting much more. But that is all the more reason to read Litvack. We recommend this book highly.'
Serge Keleher, Eastern Churches Journal, Vol. 1 No. 3
`This is the fascinating story of efforts by the great English Anglo-Catholic John Mason Neale ... to understand the Orthodox Church and to create a dialogue between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy. The author has studied a broad and admirable range of primary sources. In brief, this study deserves to be in any respectable collection of Anglo-Catholic literature. It is sound, thorough, and extremely valuable.'
Thomas C. Reeves, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Anglican and Episcopal History