Suffering, the sacred, and the sublime are concepts that often surface in humanities research in an attempt to come to terms with what is challenging, troubling or impossible to represent. These intersecting concepts are used to mediate the gap between the spoken and the unspeakable, between experience and language, between body and spirit, between the immanent and the transcendent, and between the human and the divine. These twenty-five essays, written by international scholars working in the fields of literary criticism, philosophy, and history, address the ways in which literature and theory have engaged with these three concepts and related concerns. The contributors analyse literary and theoretical texts from the medieval period to the post-modern age, from the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert to those of Endo Shusaku, Alice Munro, Annie Dillard, Emmanuel Levinas, and Slavoj eiuek. This book will be of particular interest to scholars of religion and literature, philosophy and literature, aesthetic theory, and trauma studies.
Table of Contents
Sacred Proposals & the Spiritual Sublime; "Loke in: How weet a wounde is here!": The Wounds of Christ as a Sacred Space in English Devotional Literature; Suffering in the Service of Venus: The Sacred, the Sublime, & Chaucerian Joy in the Middle Part of the Parliament of Fowls; Listening to Lavinia: Emmanuel Levinas's Saying & Said in Titus Andronicus; Precious Stories: The Discursive Economy in Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece; The Sacred Pain of Penitence: The Theology of John Donne's Holy Sonnets; Bearing the Cross: The Christian's Response to Suffering in Herbert's The Temple; Horrific Suffering, Sacred Terror, & Sublime Freedom in Helen Maria Williams's Peru; Joanna Baillie & the Christian Gothic: Reforming Society Through the Sublime; Sacramental Suffering & the Waters of Redemption & Transformation in George Eliot's Fiction; Christina Rossetti & the Poetics of Tractarian Suffering; Suffering in Word & in Truth: Seventeenth & Nineteenth Century Quaker Women's Autobiography; Sacramental Imagination: Eucharists of the Ordinary Universe in the Works of Joyce, Proust, & Woolf; The Via Negativa in E M Forster's A Passage to India; Consolation in Un/certainty: The Sacred Spaces of Suffering in the Children's Fantasy Literature of George MacDonald, C S Lewis, & Madeleine L'Engle; The Messiah of History: The Search for Synchronicity in Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz; Suffering & the Sacred: Hugh Hood's The New Age / Le nouveau siecle; Fictional Violations in Alice Munro's Narratives; Thomas Merton & the Aesthetics of the Sublime: A Beautiful Terror; Belated Beloved: Time, Trauma, & the Sublime in Toni Morrison's Beloved; Annie Dillard on Holy Ground: The Artist as Nun in the Postmodern Sublime; Passion Plays by Proxy: The Paschal Face as Interculturality in Endo Shusaku & Mishima Yukio; Testifying to the Infinity of the Other: The Sacred & Ethical Dimensions of Secondary Witnessing in Anne Karpf's The War After; Sacred Space & the Fellowship of Suffering in the Postmodern Sublime; Suffering Divine Things: Cruciform Reasoning or Incarnational Hermeneutics; Index.