Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature

Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature

Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature

Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature


Identifying elements of the Christian worldview that have influenced our theories of tragedy, Steele demonstrates how these theories fail when applied to Holocaust literature. The challenge of interpreting Holocaust literature is highlighted by a close investigation of the extent to which Christian thought, especially the view of transcendence, has permeated theories of interpretation. The author appeals for a new theory of tragedy which would allow an understanding of Holocaust literature without Christian interpretive biases. This book will be of interest to scholars of Holocaust literature, religion, and literary criticism.


The Holocaust did not end when the Allies liberated the Jewish survivors from Nazi Germany's killing centers and concentration camps in 1945. the consequences of that catastrophic event still shadow the world's moral, political, and religious life.

The "Christianity and the Holocaust--Core Issues" series explores Christian complicity, indifference, resistance, rescue, and other responses to the Holocaust. Concentrating on core issues such as the Christian roots of antisemitism, the roles played by Christian individuals and groups during the Holocaust, and the institutional reactions of Christians after Auschwitz, the series has an historical focus but addresses current concerns as well.

While many of the series' authors are well-known, established Holocaust scholars, the series also features young writers who will become leaders in the next generation of Holocaust scholarship. As all of the authors study the Holocaust's history, they also assess the Holocaust's impact on Christianity and its implications for the future of the Christian tradition.

In Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature,Michael R. Steele, the Distinguished Professor of English at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, explores how reflections on the Holocaust by leading writers such as Jean Améry, Tadeusz Borowski, Charlotte Delbo, and Elie Wiesel require us to revise understandings of tragedy that have been formed largely by Christian categories. Then Steele brings his critical insights to bear on the Christian tradition itself. What results is a sensitive and eloquent interpretation of key themes in the Christian faith--innocence, suffering, guilt, redemption--as Steele reconsiders those ideas . . .

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