The Shining Human Creature

This item will be charged on February 9, 2023.

What did God intend man to be? What will man be when restored by grace? How can this vision drive our thoughts, actions, and–most importantly–our loves?

In the wake of the Reformation, Christians all over continental Europe sought to take the theoretical concerns of theology and pair them to the practical. In the wake of the gains made by the Protestant movement, they asked a question posed by all great Christian thinkers before them: what does it mean for man to live as one restored in Christ?

Into this conversation comes Thomas Traherne—clergyman, poet, and mystic—to cast a vision of the “shining human creature,” the truly virtuous man, and the God who made and loves him. His writing demonstrates how philosophy can befriend poetics, how the intellect can be at home with the imagination of the heart, and how virtue ethics can be transposed into a truly Christian key.

In this new modernization—complete with a new introduction—by Colin Chan Redemer, readers can delight in this poetic and masterful seventeenth century text without stumbling over arcane language.

Traherne is less well-known than he ought to be, given his rich prose and ability to weave together theology, anthropology, and virtue ethics, all in service of Christian devotion. Traherne’s work is a revelation not only for students of the Reformation but for anyone asking foundational questions of ethics and anthropology. We are thrilled to bring what should be a Christian classic back into the Church’s awareness.


Table of Contents


To The Reader

I. The End of Virtue

II. The Nature of Happiness

III. Virtue Defined

IV. The Powers and Affections of the Soul

V. Knowledge Defined

VI. Love and Hatred

VII. How God Benefits from Love

VIII. The Excellence of Christian Morality