A Poetics of Jesus: The Search for Christ Through Writing in the Nineteenth Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Poetics of Jesus

The Search for Christ Through Writing in the Nineteenth Century, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey F. Keuss


226 pages

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pub: 2017-12-21
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This title was first published in 2002: A Poetics of Jesus explores the act of writing within and between the boundaries of 19th century biblical criticism and fiction. Reflecting on the work of Christian poetics after Augustine to Baur, Feuerbach, Friedrich Strauss and Victorian novelists of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, this book breaks new ground in juxtaposing the evoked image of Christ arising from Victorian biblical criticism against the image of Christ within fiction, letting both these images and the words that figured them interact. This book offers a highly accessible introduction to 19th century literature and theology through comparisons made to contemporary post-modern theorists. Demonstrating how literature can inform theology without itself becoming 'theology', this book constitutes an important contribution to the literature/theology debate and a much needed contribution to contemporary Christology through its introduction to the literature and the writers central to the beginnings of the historical quest for Jesus.


'This book constitutes a real contribution to the whole project of literature and theology. It shows how literature can inform theology, without itself becoming 'theology'. David Jasper, University of Glasgow, UK 'How theology and fiction each announce the good news of the Gospel is a fascinating question, and Keuss is to be commended for taking it on.' Christianity and Literature

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Writing and Jesus - an elective affinity; Christology as writing into rupture; Augustine and the form of the subject in/of the Imago Dei; Poetics of the subject and the sacred into the 19th century: Friedrich Schiller and the mythos of the human spirit; Friedrich Hölderlin and Empedokles; Goethe and the morphological Bildung in Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre; Hegel and the unwriting of the self; Theological poetics of Jesus amidst 19th century higher criticism: F.C. Baur and the "universal yet particular" Christ of Church History; Ludwig Feuerbach and The Essence of Christianity; David Friedrich Strauss and Mythi in Das Leben Jesu; Victorian poetics and (re)writing Jesus: Figuring Jesus in the Victorian novel; J.A. Froude - The Nemesis of Faith; Walter Pater - Marius the Epicurean; Mrs. Humphrey Ward - Robert Elsmere; Scenes of Clerical Life - Images under erasure: Heidegger reads Eliot - the 'possible' of poetics; Adam Bede - Poetics of the possible and learning to 'see': Iconographic reading - Chapter XVII and Dutch realism; (Wo)men in the garden; A poetics of Jesus in Adam Bede; The Mill on the Floss - transfigurational writing as incarnation: The Bildung of organicism and a poetics of Jesus; Imitatio Jesus/ Imitatio Maggie - writing into transfigurational flowing; Conclusion - a poetic cartography of grace; Bibliography; Index.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General