Serious Comedy

Serious Comedy : The Philosophical and Theological Significance of Tragic and Comic Writing in the Western Tradition

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Patrick Downey finds comedy at the heart of the Western philosophical and theological tradition. In Serious Comedy Downey tracks tragedy and comedy from the beginning of Western thought to the twentieth century, beginning with an in-depth examination of Aristotle and three Platonic dialogues: the Republic, the Phaedrus, and the Symposium. In the book's second section Downey argues that the Bible is at heart a comedic narrative and analyzes the philosophical and theological implications of this comedy. In the third section Downey traces comedy and tragedy in classic and modern philosophers such as Machiavelli, Dante, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. Readers with an interest in classical philosophy and theology, political philosophy, and narrative theory will be particularly interested in this insightful and thoughtful perspective on the Western more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 154.9 x 223.5 x 22.9mm | 498.96g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739101161
  • 9780739101162
  • 2,112,964

About Patrick Downey

Patrick Downey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary's College of more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Comedy and Tragedy at the Foundation of Political Philosophy Chapter 3 Tragedy and the Truth: Aristotle's Account of Catharsis Chapter 4 Plato's Republic on Comedy and Tragedy Chapter 5 Playful and Serious Writing in Plato's Phaedrus Chapter 6 The Symposium's Erotic Striving in Life and Writing Chapter 7 Violence and the Tragic Plot as Scapegoat Chapter 8 Tragedy Chapter 9 Comedy Part 10 The Bible and Its Comic Narrator Chapter 11 The Comic Unity of the Biblical Narrative Chapter 12 Reading the Bible Chapter 13 Reading the Bible as a Comedy Chapter 14 The Theology of a Comic Bible Part 15 Modern Comedy and Tragic Nostalgia Chapter 16 Dante, Machiavelli, and the Technological Comedy of Modernity Chapter 17 Hegel's Tragic Theatre Chapter 18 Nietzsche: From Tragedy to Comedy Chapter 19 Kierkegaard: Tragic Existence and Christian Comedy Chapter 20 Conclusionshow more

Review quote

Patrick Downey... has combined the research and theories of what could be three separate monographs into a single, sustained argument about the role that tragic and comic writing play in the self-understanding of the philosophical and theological enterprises. The result is one of the most original and outstanding theories on the topic to appear in some time. Josephinum Journal Of Theologyshow more

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