PETER J. LEITHART
Title: Deep Comedy : Trinity, Tragedy, And Hope In Western Literature
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Canon Pr October 2004
1591280273 / 9781591280279
Seller ID: 20080715144282
The ancient world understood history as fundamentally tragic, declining from a glorious golden age to a tarnished end. Christian eschatology profoundly challenged this classical worldview by offering a comic account of history, where 'the best is yet to come.' This concise, thought-provoking book sketches a theory of the Christian narrative as 'deep comedy,' exemplified by Revelation 21:4: 'He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes...there shall no longer be mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.' Classical writers, the author argues, produced their share of comedic happy endings, but deep comedy, where the ending becomes a glorious new beginning, belongs to and grows out of the Trinitarian theology unique to Christianity. This thesis crisply unfolds in a journey that leads us across three thousand years of intellectual history, linking Hesiod and Plato to Weil and Derrida, contrasting Virgil and Homer with medieval romance and Shakespeare. Despite footnotes and occasional dense language, the book is a delight to read, offering 'more of an impressionistic essay than an academic treatise.' A helpful prefatory 'roadmap' outlines for the reader the major facets of the argument. With degrees in English and history, plus a doctorate in theology from Cambridge, author Peter Leithart brings us interdisciplinary scholarship at its most exhilarating, encouraging us to reassess familiar texts and ideas, make surprising connections, and push the boundaries of the intellect and imagination. 159 pp.