Cover: The Peculiar Life of Sundays, from Harvard University PressCover: The Peculiar Life of Sundays in HARDCOVER

The Peculiar Life of Sundays

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.50 • £23.95 • €26.50

ISBN 9780674031685

Publication Date: 12/15/2008

Short

320 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

World

Sunday observance in the Christian West was an important religious issue from late Antiquity until at least the early twentieth century. In England the subject was debated in Parliament for six centuries. During the reign of Charles I disagreements about Sunday observance were a factor in the Puritan flight from England. In America the Sunday question loomed large in the nation’s newspapers. In the nineteenth century, it was the lengthiest of our national debates—outlasting those of temperance and slavery. In a more secular age, many writers have been haunted by the afterlife of Sunday. Wallace Stevens speaks of the “peculiar life of Sundays.” For Kris Kristofferson “there’s something in a Sunday, / Makes a body feel alone.”

From Augustine to Caesarius, through the Reformation and the Puritan flight from England, down through the ages to contemporary debates about Sunday worship, Stephen Miller explores the fascinating history of the Sabbath. He pays particular attention to the Sunday lives of a number of prominent British and American writers—and what they have had to say about Sunday. Miller examines such observant Christians as George Herbert, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Hannah More, and Jonathan Edwards. He also looks at the Sunday lives of non-practicing Christians, including Oliver Goldsmith, Joshua Reynolds, John Ruskin, and Robert Lowell, as well as a group of lapsed Christians, among them Edmund Gosse, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, and Wallace Stevens. Finally, he examines Walt Whitman’s complex relationship to Christianity. The result is a compelling study of the changing role of religion in Western culture.

Awards & Accolades

  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2009
The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide, by Jo Dunkley, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Jo Dunkley, author of Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide

Jo Dunkley combines her expertise as an astrophysicist with her talents as a teacher and writer in Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide, a lively and exceptionally clear introduction to the structure and history of the universe and its enduring mysteries. We spoke with her about the book and her seemingly limitless topic.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.