I'm pleased to announce the publication of Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Question of Tragedy in the Novels of Thomas Hardy in November (T&T Clark). It is available at amazon.com.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Balthasar and Tragedy

 Tragedy’s revelatory nature 

 Tragedy and God 

 Dionysus over Plato 

 Christ the true tragic hero 

 Human suffering 

 The influence of Hegel

Chapter 2: Balthasar’s Limited Conception of Tragedy

 Balthasar’s criteria for authentic tragedy 

 Tragedy after the Greeks 

 Balthasar and tragedy’s future 

 Tragedy’s indefinition

Chapter 3: Balthasar’s Critique of the Novel and The Return of the Native

 Balthasar and the novel 

 The Return of the Native 

Chapter 4: The Mayor of Casterbridge and Prosaic Reality

Balthasar’s aristocratic taste 

 The realistic novel 

 The Mayor of Casterbridge 

Chapter 5: Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Its Narrator

 Distance in Balthasar 

 Hardy’s narratorial closeness in Tess of the d’Urbervilles 

 Balthasar’s undramatic Theo-Drama 

Chapter 6: Jude the Obscure and Ignoble Suffering

 Tragic suffering and Balthasar 

 Tragedy and Christology 

 Jude the Obscure and meaningless suffering

Conclusion: The Place of the Tragic Novel within Balthasar’s Theology