Dante’s Divine Comedy
(Angelico Press, 2021)
The Divine Comedy changes lives. Readers of Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece have found so ever since copies began circulating, in the early fourteenth century. However, there have also always been readers left unsure how to reckon with its genius. This is the challenge of labyrinthine texts that can reveal more of life each time they are read, once a way into them is found.
“A marvellous book.” — Susanna Clarke
A Secret History of Christianity
(John Hunt Publishing, 2019)
Something is going wrong with Christianity. In the western world, it’s not hard to make the case that something’s gone terminally wrong. People are abandoning churches in their droves or, more commonly, simply steering clear of the services that nourished their forebears. This book is a response to the crisis, though it differs from others. It focuses on the inward aspect of Christianity’s troubles. It approaches the problem at a felt or mystical level via the revolutionary insights of the Inkling, Owen Barfield.
“Remarkable and timely.” — Malcolm Guite
The Idler Guide to Ancient Philosophy
(Idler Books, 2016)
This book is about the spirit of ancient philosophy, as well as the different groups from the Stoics to the Epicureans, the Platonists and the Cynics. It gives readers a gut feel for these different schools, which is important, first, because ancient philosophy was nothing if not lived in people’s lives – the ancient sages and their teachings aimed radically to change you; and, second, because it turns philosophy from being a juggling act in your head to a perception of life in all its astonishing fullness.
“Impressively clear and succinct.” — Tim Lott
The Meaning of Friendship
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
A heavy burden is placed on friendship. We turn to friends for our happiness. Some say they trust friends more than family. And there are those who want to marry their best friend – a novel idea. Then, in the networked age, we believe, or hope, that friendship is elastic enough to connect us across the web of complex lives, and strong enough not to snap. But is it? For whilst indeed friendship offers much, few ask about its perils and limitations, as well as its promise – as Mark does here.
“It’s genuinely useful, lucid, informative and wise.” — Mark Simpson, The Independent, Books of the Year
Love: All That Matters
(Hodder Education. 2013)
Drawing on wisdom from within psychology, philosophy, myth and everyday experience, Love: All That Matters examines the kinds of love associated with different phases of our development. From infant narcissism to the emergence of friendship, through the rush of romance to the compassion that can trust and let go, this is a rich tour of the emotional and spiritual force within which, for good or ill, our lives are embedded.
“A profoundly benign and practical little book. Compact scholarship and wisdom with an original thesis.” — Oliver James
Other books by Mark Vernon
Plato’s PoDcasts: The Ancients’ guide to Modern Living
The insights of the ancient philosophers told in the stories of their lives.
42: Deep Thought On Life, The Universe And Everything
A collection of musings, thoughts and insights from the greats.
God: All That Matters
(Hodder Education, 2012)
Looking at how people across different cultures believe in God today.
The Big Questions: God
Addressing issues in belief from God’s existence, to miracles, to enlightenment.
How to be an agnostic
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
An exploration of the importance of uncertainty, doubt and questing.
Chambers Dictionary Of Beliefs and Religions (ed)
(Chamers Harrap, 2009)
A desktop sized reference book with entries from Plato to psychopomp.
The Good Life: 30 Steps To Perfecting The Art Of Living
(Hodder Education, 2010)
Looking at the crucial role of virtues, and their cultivation in life.