The Common Mind traces the theme of the sensus communis, inherited from the medievals, through the lives and writings of twelve literary figures in the modern age, ranging from Thomas More and Jonathan Swift to C. S. Lewis and Russell Kirk. It is this quality, argues the author, which, like natural law, serves as the bedrock of orthodoxy, of social and political order, and which, by its presence or absence, determines the nature of every society. The Common Mind is an altogether uncommon achievement: a rich, multivalent reading of our present cultural condition through a brilliant procession of literary portraits; and a critical work in the ongoing effort to recover a unity of life, of understanding, of principles–in short, a common mind.
Praise for The Common Mind
“Christian Humanism is the tradition in our culture that stands against the disintegrating spirit of the age. In the tradition of Russell Kirk, André Gushurst-Moore presents a rich and enticing portrait of this still-vibrant tradition of Anglo-American thought, one by which we may still find our bearings in difficult times.”— Stratford Caldecott, author of All Things Made New and Beauty in the Word
“André Gushurst-Moore has earned his citizenship in the Cosmopolis. He expertly and artfully traces the soulful lineage of Christian Humanism from St. Thomas More to Russell Kirk. In addition to a number of supporting characters, Swift, Johnson, Burke, Coleridge, Newman, Brownson, Disraeli, Chesterton, Eliot, and Lewis stand tall and proud as well. ”—Bradley J. Birzer, author of intellectual biographies of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Christopher Dawson, J.R.R. Tolkien, and (forthcoming) Russell Kirk
“Finely written, and highly erudite, The Common Mind is an original and persuasive exploration of the idea of a Christian society, showing its enduring relevance to the culture and the politics of the world in which we live.”—Roger Scruton, author of A Short History of Modern Philosophy and Beauty: A Very Short Introduction
“André Gushurst-Moore takes us on a majestic ride across centuries of English and American literature, showing us that the masters were articulate because they were writing with the same pen and kicking against the same chaos.”—Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society
“A gem of a book. It is rare to find such a combination of instruction, solace, and simple delight in one volume. Literate, passionate, and reaching for joy in a time of loss, The Common Mind is a tonic for melancholia and an education for both mind and spirit.”—Bruce Frohnen, author, Virtue and the Promise of Conservatism: The Legacy of Burke and Tocqueville
“The Common Mind is a valuable reminder of a stream of thought and practice which has formed part of Anglophone culture from the time of Thomas More until the present; a literate commentary on the Christian Humanist tradition, and, if adopted in schools and universities, as I hope it will be, it will do much to re-vivify that tradition in the 21st century.”—Anthony O’Hear, author of The Great Books: A Journey through 2,500 Years of the West’s Classic Literature
“The Common Mind is a comprehensive investigation into the spectrum of Christian theology and philosophy. Rather than remaining in the realm of conceptual analysis, the author explores the practical and political implications of these ideas. I was both challenged and inspired to understand more about my politics and my faith after reading this book.”— Edward Leigh, MP, House of Commons
About the Author
ANDRÉ GUSHURST-MOORE is a writer and teacher of English. He is currently Director of Pastoral Care at Downside School, attached to the Benedictine abbey in Somerset, where he has also been a House Master and Head of the English Department. His work has appeared in the Catholic Herald, the Salisbury Review, the St Austin Review, the Chesterton Review, the University Bookman, American Arts Quarterly, and the Political Science Reviewer.