Life and death, good and evil, suffering, sin, salvation. Theological speaking, these concepts are tricky to wrap a mind around and in the habitation of particular lives, experiences of grief, absence, and transformation make it difficult to articulate the changes we undergo. While teaching theology to undergraduates, David Cunningham discovered in literature the necessary tangibilities to establish a formative dialogue with the pain that informs our lives. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
is Cunningham's literary response to and conversation with Christ's death, descent, and resurrection and the transformative possibility the fact of these three days gives to the shape and texture of the remaining three hundred and sixty-two. Tapping into Dostoevsky, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Iris Murdoch, G.M. Hopkins, Richard Adams and Edward Albee, Cunningham takes on overtly Christian and decidedly non-Christian works without getting preachy. His strengths lie in rootedness and realism. Example: '[The Christian faith] is a lifelong engagement with suffering, with questioning, and with the unstable, provisional choices that we make over the course of a very uncertain pilgrimage.filled with narrow doors and great reversals.It is joyous, and painful, and beautiful, and it calls people, time and again, to gather together around a table: not for solace only, but for strength; not for pardon only, but for renewal.'
An Eighth Day View:
Theologian and writer David Cunningham draws from novels, poems, and plays to give a resource for humans who face suffering, death, and new life. He provides a religious reading of important literary texts, with three studies for each of the three themes--drawn together by the weekly sequence of Friday-Saturday-Sunday and the events of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. These reflections on universal experiences are enriched by Cunningham's presentations of Christian perspectives which are significant resources for dealing with grief and pain, separation and absence, and transformation and renewal.