Scotland's Forgotten Treasure: The Visionary Romances of George MacDonald

This extraordinary book, now available in the U.S. at an affordable price for the first time thanks to the cooperation of the University of Aberdeen Press and author Colin Manlove, provides an overview of George MacDonald’s literary and theological views and a detailed discussion of three of his most important works: Phantastes, The Golden Key, and Lilith.

From Chapter Two, MacDonald’s Views:
"The most striking aspect of MacDonald’s theological work is the way he has come to his own understanding of Christianity without reference to churches or creeds. In his view, systems and beliefs could only talk about or define one’s relationship to God, they could not know that relation. And this from his earliest days as a Christian; writing to his father in 1851 he declared,

We are far too anxious to be definite and to have finished, well-polished, sharp-edged systems — forgetting that the more perfect a theory about the infinite, the surer it is to be wrong, the more impossible it is to be right. I am neither Arminian nor Calvinist. To no system would I subscribe.

Christianity was not a collection of beliefs, but essentially a way of experiencing God. This view and MacDonald’s supposed heterodoxy were to lead to his expulsion as minister of Arundel Congregational Church in 1853. But for him, systems and beliefs could only talk about or define one’s relationship to God; they could no know that relation. For MacDonald, coming into harmony with God’s love and purpose both in himself and in the world was the key concern of a Christian…”

About the Author: Colin Manlove (b. 1942) has lived and taught in Scotland for most of his life. He lectured in British literature at Edinburgh University from 1967 to 1993, and is the author of several books on fantasy, including Modern Fantasy (1975), Christian Fantasy (1992), and Scottish Fantasy Literature (1994). Though he has often published on George MacDonald, this is his first full-length study of the fantasy works. Besides his literary interests, Colin Manlove is, like MacDonald, fascinated by minerals and crystals, of which he has assembled a large collection.