Words about God and Life for the Attention Deficit Generation

Kill George reviewed

Kill GeorgeIf You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him received its first journal review today, in the Catholic Herald. Along with some very kind words, Jonathan Wright (my new best friend) has given an excellent summary, of both the book and what I am trying to achieve by writing it.

Under the headline The Cult of Nice, Wright says:

Fear not. Despite his book’s eye-catching title, Lewis-Anthony doesn’t hate George Herbert. He’s actually quite fond of him, especially his poems. What he detests is the way in which Herbert’s legacy has been abused over the past 350 years in order to cultivate a paradigm of ministry that has long since become redundant. Some Church of England vicars still try to live up to the romanticised (historically exaggerated) image of Herbert as the beloved, conscientious minister, living in a bucolic idyll, being all things to all men. It is this phantom Herbert that Lewis-Anthony wants to slay. I’d be happy to join the execution squad.

I’m glad that my true attitude to George Herbert (the person) has come over so clearly. That has not always been the reaction to the speaking and writing I have done on the subject in the past year (some of the comments in Thinking Anglicans were particularly unthoughtful in that regard).

Modesty forbids me from quoting the adjectives in Wright’s review (oh well, if you insist: “compelling”, “wonderful”, “apt”, “witty”, “well-intentioned”, “sophisticated”), but my son especially like the way the review finishes:

…the Church of England is fortunate to have such a bold, idol-smashing thinker within its ranks.

Ahem! <embarrassed cough>

Please go and read it all.


  1. Sam Norton

    Don’t worry, when I get around to reviewing it I’ll be much more critical 😉

  2. Justin Lewis-Anthony

    How unkind! And you with your own footnote and all! :<>

  3. Joan of Quark

    I recently read it and found it very useful indeed. I’m both a woman (and hence expected to have Nice as almost a secondary sexual characteristic) and a refugee from a 95% male profession where I zigzagged from one extreme to the other. If you want any help slaughtering The Cult of Nice with a side order of Anglo-Saxon verbiage I’m your man (or postmodernist postgendered subject).

  4. Justin Lewis-Anthony

    Welcome to the movement, Joan. Good to have you aboard. (“Quantum scientists against this sort of thing!”)

  5. Alis

    Wow! He liked it didn’t he?! Great to see it being so well-received, Justin. Congratulations!

  6. Tim Jones

    Hi Justin,

    You may remember me – I was a year or two behind you at Cuddesdon (I looked after your dog one holiday and, my wife has just reminded me, it bled all over our flat!)

    Just reading the book. Stunningly brilliant. Thank you.


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