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
Most contemporary theologies of Holy Orders consider priesthood mainly in its diocesan context and most contemporary theologies of religious life do not consider how ordained ministry functions when it is internal rather than external to religious life. Understanding the Religious Priesthood provides a history and theology of religious priesthood that contributes to our understanding of this vocation’s identity and mission. It uncovers what religious priesthood shares with diocesan priesthood and non-ordained religious life and what makes it different from both those other vocations. Christian Raab begins by tracing the history of religious priesthood from its origins in the early Church to the eve of the Second Vatican Council. He demonstrates that religious priests often faced questions about how to reconcile their two callings, but that they also provided answers in their theologies and spiritualities of priesthood and religious life. Meanwhile, they made key contributions to the Church’s life and mission. Raab then investigates the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on priesthood and religious life. Observing that the Council presented priesthood according to a diocesan typology and presented religious life without sacerdotal associations, he argues that the lack of imagery of religious priesthood contributed to a post-conciliar vocational identity crisis among religious priests. He then seeks to remedy this lacuna by appealing to the biblical images for religious priesthood Hans Urs von Balthasar offered in his theology of vocations. Raab argues that Balthasar’s imagery is a promising way forward for understanding the identity and mission of religious priesthood. In a final part, Raab provides a substantial theological articulation of religious priesthood which illuminates its liturgical signification, ecclesial mediation and mission, and ministerial identity. Here he draws not only from Balthasar but also from Pope John Paul II, Yves Congar, Jean-Marie Tillard, Brian Daley, and Guy Mansini to construct his profile.
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.
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.
This is a volume of essays on ancient (and modern) Greek myth, culture, society, and literature. It covers the work of almost thirty years and is inspired by a lifetime's teaching experience with university and mature students. Some of the essays are already counted as 'classics' and a number have not been published before.
"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.
Hans Urs von Balthasar is arguably one of the greatest-and certainly one of the most influential-Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. Awarded the prestigious Paul VI Prize for theology and designated a Cardinal just before his death in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, Balthasar's writings have clearly helped to shape the theological style of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. His seven-volume series The Glory of the Lord provides a rich and complex theological aesthetics approaching God (unusually) through the transcendental attribute of Beauty (Glory) rather than directly through Truth or Goodness, and drawing not only upon theology but upon the entire breadth of the European literary and religious tradition-ancient, mediaeval, modern, and postmodern. Understandably, The Glory of the Lord in its very extent and range is difficult to assimilate. In The Word Has Been Abroad, Aidan Nichols, one of Britain's most accomplished and lucid theological writers, succeeds in summarizing the essential theological content of Balthasar's monumental work, against the background of the living Christian tradition to which it bears such impressive witness. In this way, Father Nichols has provided a much-needed key to understanding one of the most difficult but important writers of our time. This is the first volume of Aidan Nichols's Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar, which will also include guides to Balthasar's theological drama and logic. Aidan Nichols, O.P., is a member of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge, and the author of numerous works of theology and Church history, including a two-volume commentary on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a study of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. "This book, by one of Britain's best known theological writers, is the first in an 'Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar' series being published the Catholic University of America Press. Here Nichols has set himself the task of guiding us through the often difficult seven-volume Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Balthasar's vast work on a vast subject: the beauty of God. With this very good book, Nichols has done us a great service."--New Oxford Review "The analysis is lucid and accurate and will give the reader an excellent presentation of Balthasar's project."--Worship "The prolific English Catholic historian Aidan Nichols has written an authoritative and sympathetic introduction to Balthasar's multi-volumed magnum opus, The Glory of the Lord."--Church Times "[This work] makes Balthasar's labyrinthine style intelligible to the pragmatic British or American reader. . . . Nichols explains with considerable intellectual vigor what Balthasar's whole exercise in 'aesthetics' and in the historical growth thereof intended. The summary of the dialectics between the Old and the New Testament (and of their mutual need) are masterpieces in themselves. . . . Nichols has written an excellent and highly useful work. His understanding of Balthasar is thorough and fair. In the emerging exegetical corpus on Balthasar this book will surely maintain its place among the most valuable and durable."--The Review of Metaphysics "A very useful book in that it not only follows the shape and content of the first part of Balthasar's trilogy exactly, but offers an interpretive key to the vast oeuvre which explores the beauty of God and which dialogues with a great diversity of thinkers, biblical and pagan, ancient and modern. . . . Nichols has done us a great service in providing a readable guide to Herrlichkeit."--Heythrop Journal "Disciples of Balthasar will welcome Nichols's book. Students will find it a useful companion to their own more critical study and reflection on a theologian whose valuable insights as well as prejudices continue to
Essays in English and American language and literature.
Gathers excerpts from critical articles written about twentieth century literature, and provides background information on the author being considered
In this astonishing volume of autobiography, John Moriarty's earlier works of mystical philosophy, Dreamtime and Turtle Was Gone a Long Time, are given a biographical grounding. Inhabited by all that he reads and perceives, Moriarty recovers lost forms of sensibility and categories of understanding, reconciling them gloriously within the arc of his life. Nostos is a Greek word meaning 'homecoming'. In its plural form, nostoi, it was the name of an extensive body of literature in ancient Greece about the Greek heroes who returned from the Trojan Wars. Most of this literature has perished, but we do have The Odyssey, describing the long homecoming of Odysseus to Ithaca. Moriarty's book assumes that for various reasons humanity is now exiled from the earth, but by reimagining it and ourselves as involved in a common destiny, it enacts a homecoming, a nostos to it. Nostos is a continuous narrative describing early on how its author lost his world as surely and completely as the Aztecs lost theirs when Cortez came ashore. Thereafter, in places as far apart as neolithic North Kerry and London, Periclean Athens and Blackfoot Dancing Ground, Manitoba and Mexico, Kwakiutl coast and Connemara, the author fights his way to a kind of rest, to a requiem, at the heart of things as they terribly and resplendently are. 'the classical, Eastern and Amer-Indian legends that have informed Moriarty's life are recreated or re-enacted in this deeply personal document, which is paradoxically rich in encounters with the physical world and tender episodes of love and loss, while giving us a disturbing insight into the terrors and rare ecstasies of the hermit's lonely struggle.' -- Tim Robinson