The Poets' Jesus

The Poets' Jesus : Representations at the End of a Millennium

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Poets have always been the medium through which a culture talks of, and to, its gods. Now, in this learned but lively commentary, Peggy Rosenthal shows us the astonishing range of poetic encounters with Jesus. With a special emphasis on twentieth-century poetry, Rosenthal draws from an unprecedented range of world poetry-from Africa, the Arab world, and the Far East to Latin America and the West-to give readers an understanding of how different times and different cultures have affected the way poets refigure Jesus and of how poets' fascination with the man from Nazareth transcends all barriers. She also demonstrates that, despite the twentieth century's self-definition as a secular and post-Christian epoch, it has produced poetry about Jesus of truly surprising quality and variety. Impeccably researched and extremely accessible, The Poets' Jesus will strongly appeal to scholars of poetry and religion as well as for all general readers of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 162.1 x 234.2 x 24.4mm | 26.79g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195131142
  • 9780195131147

Review quote

[The Poets' Jesus] is a short, reader-friendly account of how poets have rendered Jesus, primarily from the 19th century to the present. This book is also, in passing, a swift overview of the last two centuries of Christian theology and Western culture. * Peter Steinfels, The New York Times * Peggy Rosenthal's easygoing and often droll voice comes through on every page, as she guides her reader on a world tour of poetry centered on Jesus. Learned and accessible (never abstruse), The Poets' Jesus is respectful of scholarship without being burdened by its agendas or jargon. Rosenthal's thumbnail sketches of poets' lives, historical events, and literary movements demonstrate her truly global range, but she never loses her focus on the figure of Jesus, re-embodied in verse by a stunning variety of poets. A superb companion to the Oxford anthology, Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry (ed. Robert Atwan, George Dardess, and Peggy Rosenthal), The Poets' Jesus shares its laudable aim of showing how poets far afield express diverse versions of Jesus and Christ. * Suzanne Keen, Washington and Lee University * The Poets' Jesus is an absorbing book, a passionate and timely survey of the way modern poets have 'configured' the protagonist of the Christian story. With seemingly effortless grace, Peggy Rosenthal covers an astonishing amount of poetic territory-both spiritual and geographical. From European and American poets to the less well-known writers of Africa and the Middle East, from a Jesus who is depicted as frail or absent to a resurgent Jesus who in recent decades is mysteriously present, Rosenthal is there to enlarge the range and depth of our understanding. With her profound sensitivity for things spiritual and literary, Rosenthal is the perfect guide for the pilgrim in search of the Word within the poet's words. * Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion * Explores how different cultural contexts have influenced the way poets represent Jesus....There is a fascinating chapter on Arabic poetry, T.S. Eliot, cruelty, and waste and another on Samuel Beckett leading back to W.H. Auden....Will interest scholars of poetry and religion as well as general readers of poetry. * Library Journal *show more

About Peggy Rosenthal

Peggy Rosenthal has taught courses on poetry and spirituality at St. Bernards Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology and at Wheaton College. Her previous books include Words and Values and Divine more

Table of contents

1. Jesus as Christ and More: The First Eighteen Centuries ; 2. Jesus as Romantic Hero ; 3. Sliding into Modernism: Jesus Pale and Shrunken ; 4. Crisis of the Secularized West: Postmodernism's Jesus as Anti-Hero ; 5. Crucified Africa: The Politicized Jesus of Africa and Beyond ; 6. Archetypal Christ: Arabic Poetry and other Wastelands ; 7. Jesus Absent ; 8. Between Absence and Presence: Playing Around with Jesus ; 9. Jesus Presentshow more

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