Rellyan Universalism: a late witness

I’m trying — again — to learn the LaTeX document preparation system and discovered three documents I prepared in 2005 in LaTeX, and output as a PDF. I’ll be reposting these this week.

The first is the “Letter from the [Universalist] Church in New Britain [Connecticut] to the Universalist Convention of 1805”.

Richard Eddy reprinted the following letter in his important series of articles entitled “Universalist Conventions and Creeds” (Universalist Quarterly July 1875: 312-318) He called this letter “a fine specimen of the sturdy logic which characterized all the flowed from the pen of its author, Rev. David Evans. It is worthy of preservation, as among the last utterances of the Rellyan theology.”

James Relly was John Murray’s mentor, so its waning by 1805 must have been disappointing to Murray, who died in 1809.

But when I read that it’s “among the last utterances” I confess I’m a little suspicious. Like technological developments, theological developments never really go away, but get repackaged, reimagined and perhaps exported.

Download Letter from the [Universalist] Church in New Britain [Connecticut] to the Universalist Convention of 1805 (PDF, 32kb)

TeX and LaTeX for chants

Be prepared children: we’re heading for heavy church-geek waters.

The Rev. Chris Tessone (Even the Devils Believe) has typeset some public-domain chant settings using a TeX-derived application, OpusTeX. TeX (pronounced with a Greek chi) is a venerable typesetting system, still widely used through template packages and even graphic interfaces.  In computing terms, there’s something foundational and powerful about TeX, like Latin itself, even though I put off exploring it more than a year ago as too esoteric for most producers of church-related documents. (Readers with advanced degrees in the hard sciences and mathematics may remember LaTeX with love or hate, as its use in creating theses and disserations is still robust and its ability to set mathematical formulae is unexcelled.)

I’ll be interested where Fr. Chris goes with this.

Two delightful typefaces for your church newsletter

When it comes to techy stuff, I have the attention span of a hummingbird.

After begging off the advanced typesetting TeX, LaTeX, etc. software systems in January, a comment by Dan Harper has me trying to learn it all over again. This time I’m actually reading the tutorials and doing the exercises rather than doing the Myers-Brigg hyper-N thing (which I usually do successfully.)

There’s some general weirdness about TeX and typefaces that I won’t get into, but when scouting out some that I might want to use with my New Project, I found two that have versions suitable for installing for use in your ordinary word processors or what have you.

Both come from the Polish GUST project, which though natively adapted to that language, is OK for English. (Some German fonts seem a tad monumental when setting English.)

The first is Antykwa Torunska, (“Antiqua of Torun“) It has nice open counters (the “holes” in certain letters), chunky slab serifs that keep it from being too formal, and style that appeals to the traditional and modern in different ways. It comes in several different weights, have Cyrillic and Greek alphabets, plus true small caps and text figures (a.k.a. oldstyle numerals). Oh, and it is free and under a liberal license.

The other is Iwona, a tapered sans serif. Not as thrilling, but the extra weights, alphabets, and those rarer-than-hen’s-teeth true small caps and text figures in a free font makes it work a look. (This project has other faces, none are interesting.)