The upcoming issue of Second Spring focuses tightly on the mission that animates the College—education which is at once deeply Catholic and fully humane, in the sense that Cardinal Newman described liberal learning in his classic The Idea of University.
Editor Stratford Caldecott said, “In his recent speeches, Pope Benedict XVI has called us to question and debate the very nature and task of a university in today’s world. He traced the idea and method behind the Western university back to Socrates, and asked how we can revive the quest for truth in the face of rampant secularism and relativism. That is why the forthcoming issue is devoted to the proper role of the university and the prospects for the renewal of education.”
The new issue includes articles by Romanus Cessario OP on “Scholarship and Sanctity,” based on a talk he gave for All Saints Day at Thomas More College in 2007; by the College’s own Dr. Christopher Blum on the importance of preserving cultural memory through education in history and literature; and David Clayton on the “education in beauty” program from which students at the College will soon be able to benefit.
Edited by Oxford-based Stratford Caldecott, Second Spring is published twice a year, and takes its bearings from Catholic thinkers such as Pope Benedict XVI, John Henry Cardinal Newman and G.K. Chesterton. “We choose the best writing we can find, and edit each issue carefully to make sure that it can be read profitably by students, professional academics, and common readers, who may be struggling to breathe in the current anti-religious atmosphere,” said Caldecott—whose wife and editorial collaborator, Léonie, visited Rome with the Thomas More College Rome program in March. “Here at Second Spring, which is the adopted journal of Thomas More College and its Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, we are trying to encourage and develop new expressions of the Christian Humanist tradition that lies behind the foundation of the College thirty years ago this year.”
Editor Caldecott notes that “the overarching purpose of the journal is to serve the New Evangelization, which Pope John Paul II termed an ‘evangelization of culture,’ specifically by the renewal of education in the broadest sense—education in the faith, as well as education in the latest ideas both in the sciences and the humanities. We are not a journal of news and opinion, and so our issues do not go rapidly out of date. Tracey Rowland, President of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia, recently wrote that ‘Second Spring is one of the great contemporary journals spanning the bridge between theological reflection and cultural analysis. Its list of contributors also spans the English speaking world. It’s Catholic in the best and broadest sense of the term.’”
Second Spring is associated with the College’s developing Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, England, and with a new Thomas More College book publishing program to be called Second Spring Publications. “In these ways we want to contribute to the building up of a new Catholic and Christian culture, in dialogue with other religions, in the face of a rampant secularism that increasingly makes all these things much more difficult,” explained Caldecott. To view past issues of Second Spring or to subscribe, click here.