no bloodless myth
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No Bloodless Myth by Aidan Nichols
Following his acclaimed The Word Has Been Abroad: A Guide Through Balthasar's Aesthetics, No Bloodless Myth by Aidan Nichols summarizes and illuminates the five-volume series Theo-Drama, which develops the heart of Balthasar's theological theory--his exploration of the Good and of the dramatic interplay of finite and infinite freedom. Theo-Drama builds upon the earlier achievement of The Glory of the Lord and transcends it, opening up new horizons for theological and cultural reflection in the twenty-first century. Aidan Nichols's succinct commentary enables the reader to grasp the main themes of one of the most important theological works in several generations. "A magesterial guide through Balthasar's theological dramatics. . . . [This book] confirms Aidan Nichols as an authoritative guide to the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar."--Heythrop Journal "Father Nichols is writing what will surely be the definitive commentary on Balthasar's great theological trilogy. In this second volume he unfolds the complex argument of the Theo-Drama with clarity and good humor. Let no one now complain that they do not know how to find their way through the works of Balthasar. Father Nichols is at hand as a trustworthy guide."--John Saward, author of The Way of the Lamb Aidan Nichols, OP, is prior of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge. "[This study] will most certainly contribute in great measure to our in-depth understanding of the innovative vision proposed by the major and increasingly influential Swiss theologian. Readers and scholars are beginning to understand why Urs von Balthasar is so well beloved by so many, not least the current Pope. . . . The unbelievably broad erudition and reading culture of Balthasar is amply unfolded before us, in a way that manages to be both majestic and playful. . . . We should be more than grateful for this elegant and substantial guide."--Review of Metaphysics "Some knowledge of Balthasar's great trilogy is now required of any self-respecting Christian theologian. So we are much indebted to Aidan Nichols for the three books that summarize, respectively, its three multivolume parts, on aesthetics (Beauty), theodramatics (Goodness), and theologic (Truth). . . . [A] rich summary that illuminates the work beautifully, with occasional critical comments, humorous asides, and references to the tradition. Nichols follows Balthasar's order without any particular emphases of his own. The result is often exciting, even when the summary must become dense. Besides its evident usefulness for those who have not yet read Theo-Drama, it enables those who have to get a clearer view of Balthasar's project as a whole."--The Journal of Religion "Nichols excels at combining a straightforward, sequential summary of each volume of the Dramatics with a deft interpretation of what constitutes Balthasar's "canon within canon. . . . One of the more important studies in English of Balthasar's theology." Larry Chapp, Theological Studies
Heterodox Shakespeare by Sean Benson
The last quarter century has seen a “turn to religion” in Shakespeare studies as well as competing assertions by secular critics that Shakespeare’s plays reflect profound skepticism and even dismissal of the truth claims of revealed religion. This divide, though real, obscures the fact that Shakespeare often embeds both readings within the same play. This book is the first to propose an accommodation between religious and secular readings of the plays. Benson argues that Shakespeare was neither a mere debunker of religious orthodoxies nor their unquestioning champion. Religious inquiry in his plays is capacious enough to explore religious orthodoxy and unorthodoxy, everything from radical belief and the need to tolerate religious dissent to the possibility of God’s nonexistence. Shakespeare’s willingness to explore all aspects of religious and secular life, often simultaneously, is a mark of his tremendous intellectual range. Taking the heterodox as his focus, Benson examines five figures and ideas on the margins of the post-Reformation English church: nonconforming puritans such as Malvolio as well as physical revenants—the walking dead—whom Shakespeare alludes to and features so tantalizingly in Hamlet. Benson applies what Keats called Shakespeare’s “negative capability”—his ability to treat both sides of an issue equally and without prejudice—to show that Shakespeare considers possible worlds where God is intimately involved in the lives of persons and, in the very same play, a world in which God may not even exist. Benson demonstrates both that the range of Shakespeare’s investigation of religious questions is more daring than has previously been thought, and that the distinction between the sacred and the profane, between the orthodox and the unorthodox, is one that Shakespeare continually engages.
Improvisation by Samuel Wells
This introductory textbook establishes theatrical improvisation as a model for Christian ethics, helping Christians embody their faith in the practices of discipleship. Clearly, accessibly, and creatively written, it has been well received as a text for courses in Christian ethics. The repackaged edition has updated language and recent relevant resources, and it includes a new afterword by Wesley Vander Lugt and Benjamin D. Wayman that explores the reception and ongoing significance of the text.
A Theology Of Criticism by Michael P. Murphy
A number of critics and scholars argue for the notion of a distinctly Catholic variety of imagination, not as a matter of doctrine or even of belief, but rather as an artistic sensibility. They figure the blend of intellectual, emotional, spiritual and ethical assumptions that proceed from Catholic belief constitutes a vision of reality that necessarily informs the artist's imaginative expression. The notion of a Catholic imagination, however, has lacked thematic and theological coherence. To articulate this intuition is to cross the problematic interdisciplinary borders between theology and literature; and, although scholars have developed useful methods for undertaking such interdisciplinary "border-crossings," relatively few have been devoted to a serious examination of the theological aesthetic upon which these other aesthetics might hinge. In A Theology of Criticism, Michael Patrick Murphy proposes a new framework to better define the concept of a Catholic imagination. He explores the many ways in which the theological work of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) can provide the model, content, and optic for distinguishing this type of imagination from others. Since Balthasar views art and literature precisely as theologies, Murphy surveys a broad array of poetry, drama, fiction, and film and sets it against central aspects of Balthasar's theological program. In doing so, Murphy seeks to develop a theology of criticism. This interdisciplinary work recovers the legitimate place of a distinct "theological imagination" in critical theory, showing that Balthasar's voice both challenges and complements contemporary developments. Murphy also contends that postmodern interpretive methodology, with its careful critique of entrenched philosophical assumptions and reiterated codes of meaning, is not the threat to theological meaning that many fear. On the contrary, by juxtaposing postmodern critical methodologies against Balthasar's visionary theological range, a space is made available for literary critics and theologians alike. More important, the critic is provided with the tools to assess, challenge, and celebrate the theological imagination as it is depicted today.
Twentieth Century British And Irish Poetry by Michael O'Neill
"Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry" offers an accessible and imaginative guide to the criticism of British and Irish poetry in the the twentieth century. The editors also supply their own stimulating readings of the poetry. Through an insightful narrative - which points up the major features of the poets and the chosen excerpt Michael O'Neill and Madeleine Callaghan knit together contributions by major critics, as well as essays by a number of distinguished poet-critics, including Geoffrey Hill, Andrew Motion, and Tom Paulin. Featured poets include Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Owen, Lawrence, Auden, Dylan Thomas, Larkin, MacDiarmid, Stevie Smith, Plath, Heaney, Mahon and many others. An invualuable guide to the ways in which a remarkable and evolving body of poetry has been and might be interpreted, this is a unique and wide-ranging collection of important critical reflection on significant voices in the twentieth-century British and Irish poetic tradition from Thomas Hardy to Derek Mahon. A brief Afterword outlines trends in British and Itish poetry since 1980.
What role do novels, drama, and tragedy play within Christian thought and living? The twentieth century Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar addressed these questions using tragic drama. For him, Christ was the true tragic hero of the world who exceeded all tragic literature and experience. Balthasar demonstrated how ancient, pre-Christian tragedy and Renaissance works contained important Christian concepts, but he critiqued modern novels as failing to be either truly tragic or Christian. By examining the tragic novels of Thomas Hardy on their own terms, we have an important counterpoint to Balthasar's argument that the novel is too prosaic for theological reflection. Hardy's novels are an apt pairing for examination and critique, as they are both classically and biblically influenced, as well as contemporary.The larger implication for Balthasar's theology is that his innovations in theological aesthetics and tragedy must be expanded in the light of modernity and the tragic novel.
Say It Is Pentecost by Aidan Nichols
This volume completes Aidan Nichols's presentation of the great theological trilogy of Hans Urs von Balthasar. The book offers a summary and interpretation of Balthasar's logic and considers the way in which The Truth of the World points forward to theological aesthetics and dramatics.
Divine Fruitfulness by Aidan Nichols OP
Hans Urs von Balthasar is emerging as a colossus of twentieth-century theology. More and more of his works are being translated. But as yet he is mainly known only through his great multi-volume trilogy 'Glory', 'Theo-Drama' and Theo-Logic'. Aidan Nichols has treated each part of the trilogy and the early works in his widely acclaimed 'Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar'. In this final volume he explores all von Balthasar's later works. Many of these works are extremely important, although several are as yet untranslated and several as yet almost unknown. Nichols ranges widely and comprehensively, from journal articles to his major works, such as 'Apokalypse der deutschen Seele', to his final short works. The result is a wholly new perspective on von Balthasar, a contextualising of his trilogy and an illumination of his whole life and work.
God And Elizabeth Bishop by C. Walker
In God and Elizabeth Bishop Cheryl Walker takes the bold step of looking at the work of Elizabeth Bishop as though it might have something fresh to say about religion and poetry. Going wholly against the tide of recent academic practice, especially as applied to Bishop, she delights in presenting herself as an engaged Christian who nevertheless believes that a skeptical modern poet might feed our spiritual hungers. This is a book that reminds us of the rich tradition of religious poetry written in English, at the same time taking delicious detours into realms of humour, social responsibility, and mysticism.
Blood Kindred by W J McCormack
In June 1934, W. B. Yeats gratefully received the award of a Goethe-Plakette from Oberburgermeister Krebs, four months after his early play The Countess Cathleen had been produced in Frankfurt by SS Untersturmfuhrer Bethge. Four years later, the poet publicly commended Nazi legislation before leaving Dublin to die in southern France. These hitherto neglected, isolated and scandalous details stand at the heart of this reflective study of Yeats's life, his attitudes towards death, and his politics. Blood Kindred identifies an obsession with family as the link connecting Yeats's late engagement with fascism to his Irish Victorian origins in suburban Dublin and industrializing Ulster. It carefully documents and analyses his involvement with both Maud Gonne and her daughter Iseult, his secretive consultations with Irish army officers during his Senate years, his incidental anti-Semitism, and his approval of the right-wing royalist group L'Action Française in the 1920s. The familiar peaks and troughs of Irish history, such as the 1916 Rising and the death of Parnell, are re-oriented within a radical new interpretation of Yeats's life and thought, his poetry and plays. As far as possible Bill McCormack lets Yeats speak for himself through generous quotation from his newly accessible correspondence. The result is a combative, entertaining biography which allows Ireland's greatest literary figure to be seen in the round for the first time.