Cithara

Articles

Vol. 52, No. 2, May

Understanding Artistic Creativity through the Aesthetics of Jacques Maritain
In her 2009 TED Conference talk in Long Beach, California, novelist Elizabeth Gilbert speaks frankly and engagingly about the challenges of the creative process of making art; in her case, in writing novels (Gilbert, TED Talk). Her talk centers around...
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Hostages in the Middle Ages
Hostages in the Middle Ages. By Adam J. Kosto. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xvi, 281. $110.00.In modern English usage dealing with contemporary matters, the term hostage generally denotes a person who has been taken captive illegally and...
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Shakespeare and the Apocalypse: Visions of Doom from Early Modern Tragedy to Popular Culture
Shakespeare and the Apocalypse: Visions of Doom from Early Modern Tragedy to Popular Culture. By R. M. Christofides. London: Continuum, 2012. Pp. xii, 216. $110.00.R. M. Christofides opens his book with a dark narration about his own personal fears regarding...
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To Repair the Ruins: Reading Milton
To Repair the Ruins: Reading Milton. Edited by Mary C. Fenton and Louis Schwartz. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2012. Pp. xi, 427, Figs. 29. $58.00. Satan's Poetry: Fallenness and Poetic Tradition in Paradise Lost. By Danielle A. St. Hilaire....
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Angels of Modernism: Religion, Culture, Aesthetics 1910-1960
Angels of Modernism: Religion, Culture, Aesthetics 1910-1960. By Suzanne Hobson. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Pp. 226. $90.At first glance, Suzanne Hobson's Angels of Modernism appears to be a "who's who" of angels in the early twentieth century,...
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Visuality and Spatiality in Virginia Woolf's Fiction
Visuality and Spatiality in Virginia Woolf's Fiction. By Savina Stevanato. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012. Pp. xvi, 293. $63.00.Much has been written about the organizing structures of modernist fiction and poetry, from the shifting rhythms, subject rhymes,...
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The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton
The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton. By Monica Weis, SSJ. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011. Pp 216. $40.00.The idea at the center of Monica Weis's new book-that Thomas Merton, who was ahead of his time on so many social issues, had...
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Milton and Obedience
In Apology for Smectymnuus (1642) John Milton says of himself: "For I Readers, shall always be of this opinion, that obedience to the Spirit of God, rather than to the faire seeming pretences of men, is the best and most dutifull order that a Christian...
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Vol. 52, No. 1, November

The Crossbow in English Warfare from King John to Edward I an Administrative Perspective
Readers of Cithara will be familiar with the Hollywood cliché in medieval films that the heroes are armed with bows, while the villains are armed with crossbows. The recent Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which the elf Lególas was armed with a longbow,...
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A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas Merton
A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas Merton. By Rowan Williams. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2011. Pp. 96. $19.95.This brief but challenging collection of essays by Rowan Williams, the 1 04th Archbishop of Canterbury, highlights Williams' interaction...
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She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America
She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America. By Katherine West Scheil. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. Pp. 256. $45.00.The importance of Women's Clubs and Literary Societies in nineteenthand early twentieth-century American...
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Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty
Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty. By Cecilia González- Andrieu. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2012. Pp. 250. $29.95.When I was an undergrad uà te at a bilingual university in Tokyo, one of my classmates chose San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge...
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Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human
Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human. By Steven R. Guthrie. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011. Pp. 240. $24.99.During a homily at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Charleston in 2009, the homilist made a humble yet striking...
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For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts
For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts. Foreword by L. Shaw. Edited by W. David O. Taylor. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010. Pp. 204. $15.99.I anticipated that reviewing For the Beauty of the Church would be helpful as I write...
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Iago and the Arts of Satan: A Homiletic Reading1
Shared religious values embodied in the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, the Catechism, the Homilies and other liturgical and homiletic texts sanctioned by the Church of England would have encouraged Stuart playgoers to understand Iago as diabolic and...
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Sharing in Triune Glory: Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics and Deification
IntroductionThe topic of deification or theosis has emerged as a popular theme in contemporary theology. It has been subject to numerous systematic as well as historical treatments in the past several decades and has been used to classify, with more...
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Milton's Rival Hermeneutics: 'Reason Is but Choosing.'
Milton's Rival Hermeneutics: 'Reason Is But Choosing.' Edited by Richard J. DuRocher and Margaret Olofson Thickstun. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 2012. Pp. v-xiv, 278. $58.00.This collection of eleven essays (in part a tribute to the late...
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Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality
Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality. By Beiden C. Lane. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp 312. $29.95.For those familiar with Beiden Lane's earlier work, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain...
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Vol. 51, No. 2, May

Why Can't We Be Happier?
Four recent economics and psychology books have reached pessimistic conclusions about happiness that should disappoint philosophers who believe that happiness is a significant component of a good valuable life and, importantly, that human happiness can...
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Chaos Theory and Humanism: A Tribute to Cithara on Its 50th Anniversary
Personal IntroductionLet me say at the outset that I might be more comfortable stitching together, as the grandson of a tailor, some words of deserved tribute for Cithara and its distinguished editor, Professor John Mulryan (to say nothing of all previous...
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Milton and Homer: 'Written to Aftertimes'
Milton and Homer: 'Written to After times.' By Gregory Machacek. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2011. Pp. 194. $58.Gregory Machacek's welcome book on Homer has (unfortunately to my mind) a dual purpose: to create a new theory of literary allusion...
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Earthly Visions: Theology and the Challenges of Art
Earthly Visions: Theology and the Challenges of Art. By TJ. Gorringe. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. Pp. 254. $45What has the gallery to do with God? In his new book, Earthly Visions: Theology and the Challenges of Art, T J. Gorringe offers...
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A Grim Cycle of Life: The Indigent's Spatial Journey in Louis-Sébastien Mercier's Tableau De Paris (1781-88)
Louis-Sébastien Mercier's vivid descriptions of indigent Parisians in the years preceding the Revolution in his Tableau de Paris (1781-88) are of particular interest to the modern reader, as well as the specialist, both the historian and the sociologist....
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Vol. 51, No. 1, November

How Does Beauty Save? Evocations from Federico García Lorca's Teoría Y Juego del Duende*
Does Beauty Save?The enigmatic phrase "beauty will save the world," from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot (383).' has been so influential that Pope John Paul II titles the last section of his Pastoral Letter To the Artists (1999) "The 'Beauty' That Saves."...
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The Garden of God: A Theological Cosmology
The Garden of God: A Theological Cosmology. By Alejandro García-Rivera. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009. Pp. 157. $22.Cosmological concerns abound in the world today. In this year, the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks in the United...
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Living Beauty: The Art of Liturgy
Living Beauty: The Art of Liturgy. By Alejandro García-Rivera and Thomas Scirghi. Lanham, MD /Toronto: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. Pp. 201 . $21.95.Living Beauty was co-written by Alejandro García-Rivera and Thomas Scirghi while both were...
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Through a Glass, Darkly: Seeing Film in Theological Perspective
Film. . . teaches us to see. There is no shame in taking lessons, even under such an unassuming master.Eric Rohmer (p. 70)Scene I: 'And God said, let there be light!'1. The Light of GodTheology's claim is nothing less than universal. If God's communion...
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The 'Prophetic-Ethical' Dimension of Sacred Art and Alejandro García-Rivera's Pursuit of the Garden of God
IntroductionIn The Garden of God, in the context of his theological cosmology, Alejandro García-Rivera offers a quiet, prophetic call for moral living. He does not condemn humanity but calls us to marvel at the beauty of the world in order that we might...
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Vol. 50, No. 2, May

Thomas Merton's Desert Spirituality
"I have been summoned to explore a desert area of man's heart... "1When, in December, 1941, Thomas Merton left the hills of western New York and the campus of St. Bonaventure University, where he had been an instructor in English, to set out for the...
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Imitating Hemingway: "After Such Knowledge . . ."
[T. S. Eliot, "Gerontion," I. 33]I remember clearly when I first read The Sun Also Rises and The Great Gatsby, two preeminent novels of my generation. It was during my first year at Horace Mann High School (then For Boys) in the winter of 1950-51 . But...
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A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-1500
A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-1500. By Peter Purton. Woodbridge, United Kingdom: The Boydell Press, 2010. Pp. 488. Maps and Plates. $115.When many, if not, in fact, most medievalists, not to mention educated laymen, give their traditionally...
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The Harold Pinter I Knew: Transcendence in Drama and the Man
PART I: THE MAN: SOURCES OF HIS VISIONI love Harold Pinter's work because it makes me laugh - that flashpoint of insight that illuminates truth. When I saw The Birthday Party in Chicago, I walked out stunned. I'd never seen anything on stage so delightful...
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The Epigrams of Sir John Harington
The Epigrams of Sir John Harington. Ed. by Gerard Kilroy. Surrey, England; Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2009. Illus. Pp. xiv, 348. $99.95.Sir John Harington's Epigrams have always been overshadowed by his magnificent translation of Ludovico Ariosto's...
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Shakespeare's Freedom
Shakespeare's Freedom, By Stephen Greenblatt. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 144. $24.00.Stephen Greenblatt's latest book, Shakespeare's Freedom, begins with a paradox: "Shakespeare as a writer is the embodiment of human freedom";...
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Vol. 50, No. 1, November

Visionary Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence
Visionary Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence. Edited by Peter E. Medine, John T. Shawcross, and David V. Urban. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2010. Pp. xxv, 346. $60.00.This volume of new essays continues an ongoing discussion about how...
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Diocletian's Inflation: Primarily in Gaul
In the annals of historical scholarship, the decline and fall of the Roman empire continues to be among the most vexing and controversial problems.' Although many explanations from drought to race mongralization have been proffered over the past several...
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Felicia Hemans' Boy on the Burning Deck: Sentimental or Subversive?
Until recently, Felicia Hemans' reputation was as a sentimental Romantic poet, parodied by several generations of British and North American schoolchildren forced to memorize her most long-lived poems, "Casablanca," "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers,"...
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Shakespeare and Philosophy
Shakespeare and Philosophy. By Stanley Stewart. New York: Routledge, 2010. Pp. xvii, 225. $95.Stanley Stewart's very sensible study of Shakespeare and philosophy focuses on Shakespeare's influence on philosophers rather than on philosophy per se. The...
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Vol. 49, No. 2, May

Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-Century England
Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-Century England. By Ryan J. Stark. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2009. Pp. vii, 234. $65.This extremely well-written, thoughtful book sets out to defend the new scientific writers (members...
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From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture
Front Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture. By Matthew Hoffman. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007. Pp. x, 292. $60.If there is one thing that biblical scholars of virtually every stripe agree upon these days,...
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The Country beyond Words: Silence and Christian Mindfulness
"Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names." -Thomas Merton1From the eerie quiet of isolated spaces to the reverent hush of empty churches, I have long been attracted to silence. For decades I have pondered its role in contemplative...
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Dr. Frayne and Mr. Slocum: Authenticity and the Hybrid Western Drama
On November 30, 1882, a full house gathered at the Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio to view a performance of Clifton W. Tayleure's play Si Slocum. This was Thanksgiving Day and, as the Cincinnati Daily Gazette noted the next morning, "everybody having a...
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Growing Up in New York City: A Generational Memoir (1941-1960)
PrefaceMichel de Montaigne asked himself famously in his Essays of 1580, "What do I know?" This apparently simple question opened the door to the history of personal and private writing: letters, memoirs, autobiographies, the personal essay, literary...
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Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances
Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances. By Andrea Smith. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008. Pp. xxxix, 356. $24.95.Native Americans and the Christian Right is a bold fusion of activism and scholarship...
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Vol. 49, No. 1, November

Albert C. Labriola: A Tribute
On March 11, 2009, Albert C. Labriola, one of the most distinguished scholars and teachers of our time, died suddenly and unexpectedly during spring break at his vacation residence in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He leaves behind him his loving family, including...
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'Doing What He Describes': Enactment in Milton's Poetry
The following paper emerges from a much larger project in which I am involved, and of which Al Labriola was the General Editor for thirteen years until his untimely death in 2009. I am of course referring to the revived Milton Variorum Project. The Variorum...
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John Milton, Anglus: The Quest for an English Identity
John Milton, Anglus, nobile Inglese, Londinensis - this is how Milton's Italian friends and acquaintances refer to him in complimentary poems and epigrams, many of which Milton printed in the Testimonia prefatory to the Poemata, the Latin volume of the...
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Tradition and the Budding Individual Talent: Milton's Paraphrase of Psalm 114
Milton's first written poem, set forth in his 1645 volume, Poems of Mr. John Milton, both English and Latin, is his paraphrase of Psalm 114. The head note to "A Paraphrase on Psalm 114" in that volume reads: "This and the following Psalm were don by...
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Spiritual Architecture and "Paradise Regained": Milton's Literary Ecclesiology
Spiritual Architecture and "Paradise Regained": Milton's Literary Ecclesiology. By Ken Simpson. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2007. Pp. xiv, 256. $58.Ken Simpson's book Spiritual Architecture and Paradise Regained: Milton's Literary Ecclesiology...
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In the Anteroom of Divinity: The Reformation of the Angels from Colet to Milton
In the Anteroom of Divinity: The Reformation of the Angels from Colei to Milton. By Feisal G. Mohamed. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 2008. Pp. xiv, 239. $50.01.This excellent but difficult book traces the history of post-biblical angelology...
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Vol. 48, No. 2, May

After the 1960's: Too Close Reading and the Limits of Postmodernism
We all are born ata specific crossroad of history (both national and world) and literary history. The separate roads and the intersections are equally important. This confluence leaves its impression on us, and we impress ourselves upon this matrix,...
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Finding Beauty in a Broken World
Finding Beauty in a Broken World. By Terry Tempest Williams. New York: Pantheon Books, 2008. Pp. 409. $26.00.Sometimes the best indicator of a book's significance is how the rest of the world looks and feels after the last page is turned. By the end...
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Thematic Integrity in Thomas Merton's Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
In her excellent study A Search for Wisdom and Spirit (1988) Anne Carr has shown that Thomas Merton's Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1966) contains distinctive subject matter in relation to his earlier work, especially the gradual enlarging of his...
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"A Little Taller Than Homer": Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Hector in the Garden"
Upon a first reading, "Hector in the Garden" seems nothing more than a charming sentimental reminiscence about a bed of flowers Elizabeth Barrett designed at Hope End when she was a budding Greek scholar of nine. The poem opens with the girl narrator...
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Milton the Dramatist
Milton the Dramatist. By Timothy J. Burbery. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2007. Pp. xviii, 206. $58.00.Timothy J. Burbery's title, Milton the Dramatist, is obviously meant to be controversial, for most Milton scholars regard Milton as an epic...
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Calvinist Humor in American Literature
Calvinist Humor in American Literature. By Michael Dunne. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007. Pp. vü, 219. $37.50.The title of this well-researched, wide-ranging, fluently written book announces what proves to be the volume's greatest...
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Vol. 48, No. 1, November

From Pilgrimage to Crusade
[Reprinted from Cithara, vol. 4, #1, November 1964, pp. 3-32]IThe "sacred journey" has origins in prehistoric religious cultures and myths. Man instinctively regards himself as a wanderer and wayfarer, and it is second nature for him to go on pilgrimage...
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Thomas Merton on the Contemplative Life and Personhood1
Throughout his life Merton faced intense scrutiny, as this excerpt from his journals illustrates:I am accused of living in the woods like Thoreau instead of living in the desert like St. John the Baptist. All I can answer is that I am not living 'like...
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Of Manuscripts and Things: The Thomas Merton Archives at St. Bonaventure University
The Thomas Merton Archives at St. Bonaventure University are housed in the Library. But in another sense the Library itself is part of the Archives. There are a number of buildings that still stand on campus today that have remained remarkably unchanged...
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"Paradise Lost: A Poem Written in Ten Books by John Milton": An Authoritative Text of the 1667 First Edition/"Paradise Lost: A Poem Written in Ten Books": Essays on the 1667 First Edition/The Robert J. Wickenheiser Collection of John Milton at the University of South Carolina: A Descriptive Account with Illustrations
"Paradise Lost: A Poem Written in Ten Books By John Milton ": An Authoritative Text of the 1667 First Edition. Transcribed and Edited with Commentary by John T. Shawcross and Michael Lieb. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2007. Pp. xvi, 456. $68.00."Paradise...
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Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic
Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic. By John R. Dichtl. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008. Pp. ix, 240. $50.00.This book addresses a tightly-defined movement, period, and geographical area-Catholic...
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Vol. 47, No. 2, May

Modes of Faith - Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief
Modes of Faith - Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief. By Theodor Ziolkowski. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 283. $35.00.Titles well chosen have a magic. They stir imagination and arouse curiosity. So it happened...
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America's Gothic Fiction: The Legacy of the Magnalia Christi Americana
America's Gothic Fiction: The Legacy of the Magnolia Christi Americana. By Dorothy Z. Baker. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2007. Pp. viii, 161. $37.95.This book is not primarily about texts that fit standard definitions of the gothic, though...
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Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925
Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925. By Barbra Mann Wall. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2005. Pp. 344. $52.95.The history of establishment of hospitals by communities of American Catholic religious...
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Forgotten Paths: Etymology and the Allegorical Mindset
Forgotten Paths: Etymology and the Allegorical Mindset. By Davide Del Bello. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007. Pp. xvi, 187. Illus. $64.95.This elegantly written, brilliantly conceived book provides a richly expansive definition...
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Through Nurture and Good Advisement: Paulina, Ideal Orator of Shakespeare's the Winter's Tale
[A]rt in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish ....Aristotle, Physics (199al5-16)It is now more common to hear from Shakespeareans that Shakespeare investigates the most important theological issues of Renaissance English culture,...
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Religious Partisanship in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
That staunch Whig Thomas Edwards remarked that Samuel Johnson had made his Dictionary of the English Language (1755) "a vehicle for Jacobite and High-flying tenets by giving many examples from the party pamphlets of [Jonathan] Swift, from South's Sermons...
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The Belial Tradition in Old English: Satan's Emissary in Cynewulf's Juliana
Aside from the cowherd, Caedmon, credited by the Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People with composing the first and greatest Christian poem in Old English, there is only one other Anglo-Saxon poet whom we know by name, Cynewulf....
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