Chicago: Henry Regnery Comapny, 1954. Early printing. Tall octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Early owner inkstamp to rear blank flyleaf, small chip, mild creasing to edges of unfaded and unclipped original dust jacket. A lovely copy. Item #762
"NONE OF THE GREAT THINGS IN HUMAN LIFE SPRINGS FROM THE INTELLECT; EVERY ONE OF THEM ISSUES FROM THE HEART AND ITS LOVE" Early printing of the first English edition of Romano Guardini's Life of Christ—an international Catholic bestseller of the post-war era—complete in the scarce dust jacket illustrated with 'Christ Mocked by Soldiers' by Rouault (1932). "The Lord is a classic twentieth-century exposition of the life of Jesus, which also connects episodes in Christ's life with the beliefs and practices of the Church; the shrewd American writer Flannery O'Connor was moved to say after reading the book: 'There is nothing like [it] anywhere'" (Robert Royal). The book consists of a brief Preface and seven sections: Part One. The Beginnings, Part Two. Message and Promise, Part Three. The Decision, Part Four. On the Road to Jerusalem, Part Five. The Last Days, Part Six. Resurrection and Transfiguration. Part Seven. Time and Eternity. Translated from the German by Elinor Castendyk, "The Lord was published by Henry Regnery who called it the most successful book he had ever published. As signaled by its magnificent dust jacket of Rouault's painting of Jesus before Pilate, Guardini presents the Jesus Christ of Scripture and classical Catholic theology who is also in His human nature a figure of existential power as well as the God-Man of Catholic orthodoxy, as he proceeds through the stage of His brief human life and endures his passion and death in a fully human manner. Joseph Ratzinger—later Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI—was a friend and colleague, and Pope Francis worked on his doctorate under Guardini's direction" (Kevin Starr). Guardini "took a decidedly personalist approach" and he is the rare figure who "belongs to both the conservative and liberal currents of the first half of the twentieth century, and his admirers included figures as different as Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger, Karl Rahner, and Karol Wojtyla" (Robert Royal). Monsignor Guardini was never ensnared in the internecine struggles between the Thomists and the New Theologians: "Guardini was not a system builder in the German sense of the term, nor did he ever found a school. He was rather, a religious scholar anchored in Scripture, with an orientation towards Augustinianism and a philosophical grounding in existentialism. Pope Paul VI offered a red hat to the author of this powerful book, and Germany has put him on a stamp, so resonant was the statement regarding death and transfiguration made to a postwar generation by The Lord, among Germans and Americans alike" (Kevin Starr). Third printing of March 1955 (First printed in October 1954). Approbations. Starr, The Lost World: American Catholic Non-Fiction at Midcentury. Royal, A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.