Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

One day in the life

I got round to reading Solzhenitsyn's One day in the life of the Life of Ivan Denisovich the other day. It followed on from the Orwell book as it is again about subsisting and is a reminder of our privileges and the need not to think too much but be more thankful. First published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir (New World) it is well known and was one of the reason Solzhenitsyn was given the Nobel Prize in 1970 and no doubt one reason why he got kicked out in the end. The story is set in a Soviet labour camp in the Stalinist 1950s, (Solzhenitsyn was in a gulag 1945-1953 and began writing his book in 1957).
Wisely what he does is to describe just a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. That takes out the need for a long story and a lot of explanation and gives a sharp profile to the presentation. We meet other prisoners including Aloshya the Baptist who I felt inevitable drawn to.
The book's publication was an extraordinary event in Soviet literary history as an account of Stalinist repression had never been openly distributed before. An English translation by Ralph Parker quickly followed. That as the one I read. Four others have followed. There is also a 1970 film, which I've not seen.

No comments: