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Paperback and Kindle Versions of Balthasar and the Question of Tragedy

Paperback and Kindle versions of Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Question of Tragedy in the Novels of Thomas Hardy are available on amazon.com ($28-$30) and amazon.co.uk (£19-£20), as well as hardback versions.

I'm still proud of this book as it distills some 5 years of my work on Balthasar, tragedy, Christian theology, literary genre and the novel, and Thomas Hardy. A bit that still resonates, and gets to the heart of the book's goal, is this excerpt from page 7, which includes a block quote from Barth):

To read Hardy and Balthasar together is to grapple with Balthasar’s interests by way of contrast, to understand him precisely through what failed to motivate and interest him. This kind of theological conversation was commended by Karl Barth:


For me it would be a canon of all research in theological history, and perhaps all history, that one should try to present what has engaged another person, whether in a good way or a less good, as something living, as something that moved him in some way and that can and indeed does move oneself too; to unfold it in such a way that even if one finally takes some other route, the path of this other has an enticing, or, if you like, tempting attraction for oneself. Disregard of this canon, I think, can only avenge itself by rendering the attempted historical research unprofitable and tedious. (Karl Barth, Letters 1961-1968, ed. Jürgen Fangmeier, Hinrich Stoevesandt, and Geoffrey W. Bromiley, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1981], 234 (letter 239).


It is the goal of this book to explore profitably, and hopefully without tedium, why tragedy moved Balthasar, and to critically examine his chosen route by way of the other path of the tragic novel.

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