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Bradley, Ian 1950–

Bradley, Ian 1950–

(Ian Campbell Bradley)

PERSONAL:

Born May 28, 1950, in Berkhamstead, England; son of William Ewart (a civil servant) and Mary Campbell Bradley. Education: New College, Oxford, B.A. (with first-class honors), 1971, M.A., 1974, D.Phil., 1974; University of St. Andrews, B.D. Politics: Liberal Party. Religion: Church of Scotland. Hobbies and other interests: Gilbert and Sullivan, musicals, singing, hymns, liberalism, spas, tennis, hill walking.

ADDRESSES:

Office—St. Mary's College, South St., St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9JU, Scotland. Agent—Giles Gordon, Morwell St., London WC1, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Oxford University, Oxford, England, research fellow at New College, 1971-74; British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), London, England, member of staff, 1974-76, head of religious broadcasting 1990-92; Times, London, England, staff writer, 1977-82; University of Aberdeen, senior lecturer in church history, 1992-99; University of St. Andrews, reader in practical theology and church history, 1999—.

WRITINGS:

The Call to Seriousness: The Evangelical Impact on the Victorians, J. Cape (London, England), 1975.

William Morris and His World, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1977.

The Optimists: Themes and Personalities in Victorian Liberalism, Faber (London, England), 1980.

The English Middle Classes Are Alive and Kicking, Collins (London, England), 1982.

(Compiler, editor, and author of introduction) The Book of Hymns, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 1989, Testament Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Marching to the Promised Land: Has the Church a Future?, J. Murray (London, England), 1992.

God Is Green: Ecology for Christians, Image Books (New York, NY), 1992.

The Celtic Way, Darton, Longman & Todd (London, England), 1993.

(Editor and author of introduction) The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns, GIA Publications (Chicago, IL), 1997.

Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Dimension of Monarchy, Darton Longman & Todd (London, England), 2002.

Don't Rock the Boat: An Autobiography, [Albany, NY], 2004.

The Daily Telegraph Book of Hymns, Continuum (New York, NY), 2005.

You've Got to Have a Dream: The Message of the Musical, Westminster John Knox Press (Louisville, KY), 2005.

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! The Enduring Phenomenon of Gilbert and Sullivan, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

The Daily Telegraph Book of Carols, Continuum (New York, NY), 2006.

Believing in Britain: The Spiritual Identity of "Britishness," I.B. Tauris (London, England), 2007.

Writer for BBC. Contributor to History Today, Guardian, the Times, and other newspapers and magazines.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ian Bradley once commented: "I am interested in reporting on both the traditional and contemporary English political, social, and cultural scene." Among his many respected works is The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, for which he served as editor. New York Times Book Review contributor Margot Peters described the volume as "a treasure of nostalgia and ‘innocent merriment.’" The sections of the book that introduce each operetta, according to Alexandra Mullen in American Scholar, are "jam-packed with delightful things to know."

An ordained minister in the Church of Scotland, Bradley has written on a wide range of religious themes. In Marching to the Promised Land: Has the Church a Future? he sees an optimistic future for the English Church, despite some evidence of its declining importance, particularly among the young. God Is Green: Ecology for Christians is an introduction to "eco-theology." In the book, Bradley argues that "a sacred world is at the heart of Christian belief." Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams debunks some popular misconceptions about Celtic Christianity, showing that revivalists have tended to idealize a complex subject. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly admired the book as a "fascinating study, combining Church history, theology and the psychology of human nature."

Church music is one of Bradley's particular interests; he has compiled and introduced The Book of Hymns and has written Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns, which received many positive reviews. Gerard Irvine in Times Literary Supplement praised it as a "learned and authoritative work" that is also witty and engaging. Irvine especially enjoyed Bradley's comparison of Victorian hymns to today's soap operas—a point that Peter Newman Brooks in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History did not consider entirely persuasive, though he did judge the book "lively and always readable." An Economist writer commented favorably on Bradley's open enthusiasm for his subject, and noted that "it is a joy to read his book if only to marvel at the range and depth of his knowledge."

In God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Dimension of Monarchy, Bradley examines the symbolic meanings of monarchy in Britain and argues for the continued importance of the institution. Ferdinand Mount in the Times Literary Supplement noted that this approach goes against the received wisdom that the monarchy has become insignificant or irrelevant in today's world. As Mount observed, Bradley "trac[es] the evolution of kingship in these islands and its intertwining with the evolution of Christianity. He regards the connection between the two, and the dignity, self-sacrifice and reticence of the present Queen as essential ingredients of the institution. Far from being further secularized and the Church disestablished, which would leave the Queen isolated and therefore vulnerable, the monarchy should be ‘resacralized’ and the Church ‘reestablished.’" Mount found this argument "reflective, calm and fair-minded," pointing out that "the dangers of undermining the basis of authority are not merely political. If you bleach out the numinous elements, you leave a materialist, secularized nation in rather bleak surroundings." It would be unwise, Mount went on to suggest, "to remove any lingering social experience of the transcendent," for this would "leave what Bradley calls ‘the metaphysical imagination’ confined to the private realm."

Bradley's Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! The Enduring Phenomenon of Gilbert and Sullivan takes a look at the music and shows of Gilbert and Sullivan and attempts to explain their ongoing popularity even in the high-speed, edgy twenty-first century, despite their quaintness of style and extreme Victorian stylizations. His explanation is based primarily on sociology, asserting that different aspects of the stories and music appeal to different members of the social strata. In addition, he claims a level of human need that relates to the over-the-top Victorian musicals. Edward Green, reviewing for Notes, found Bradley's reasoning confusing and somewhat contradictory at times, but remarked that "to Bradley's credit, he quotes several authors and Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts whose sense of aesthetics is clearer and more profound than his own." Green concluded, however, that "nonetheless, for all its faults, this book is a valuable—one might even say, an indispensable—reference work concerning the post-1961 world of Gilbert and Sullivan."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Bradley, Ian, Don't Rock the Boat: An Autobiography, [Albany, NY], 2004.

PERIODICALS

American Scholar, winter, 1998, Alexandra Mullen, review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 184.

Catholic Historical Review, January, 2000, Mark Dilworth, review of Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams, p. 96.

Christianity Today, July 20, 1992, Dough Bandow, review of God Is Green: Ecology for Christians, p. 57.

Christian Science Monitor, November 21, 1996, Merle Rubin, review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. B3.

Contemporary Review, May, 1982, review of The English Middle Classes Are Alive and Kicking, p. 279.

Economist, April 17, 1982, review of The English Middle Classes Are Alive and Kicking, p. 105; July 25, 1992, review of Marching to the Promised Land: Has the Church a Future?, p. 86; September 6, 1997, review of Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns, p. 17.

History Today, March, 1983, review of The Optimists: Themes and Personalities in Victorian Liberalism, p. 42.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, October, 1998, Peter Newman Brooks, review of Abide with Me, p. 736; April, 2000, Colm O'Baoill, review of Celtic Christianity, p. 380.

Journal of Modern History, September, 1983, review of The Optimists, p. 484.

Library Journal, November, 1, 1996, Susan L. Peters, review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 68; June 1, 1999, Robert C. Moore, review of Celtic Christianity, p. 123.

London Review of Books, December 11, 1997, review of Abide with Me, p. 31.

New York Times Book Review, December 8, 1996, Margot Peters, "Naughty Victorians," review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 24.

Notes, September, 1997, Victor Fell Yellin, review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 51; March 1, 2006, Edward Green, review of Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! The Enduring Phenomenon of Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 718.

Perspective, April, 1983, review of Classical and Marxian Political Economy: Essays in Honor of Ronald L. Meek, p. 63.

Publishers Weekly, May 17, 1999, review of Celtic Christianity, p. 71.

Religious Studies Review, October, 1993, review of The Book of Hymns, p. 342.

Spectator, July 19, 1997, P.J. Kavanagh, review of Abide with Me, p. 32.

Theology, January-February, 1998, Thomas Christie, review of Abide with Me, p. 62.

Times Literary Supplement, April 16, 1982, review of The English Middle Classes Are Alive and Kicking, p. 431; August 4, 1989, Gerard Irvine, review of The Book of Hymns, p. 852; July 10, 1992, review of Marching to the Promised Land, p. 24; October 1, 1997, Rupert Christiansen, review of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, p. 17; November 28, 1997, Gerard Irvine, review of Abide with Me, p. 27; February 1, 2002, Ferdinand Mount, review of God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Dimension of Monarchy, p. 28.

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