"Bringing out the peculiar genius of the Christian religion and its unique contribution to Western culture is a worthy task that is too often neglected at a time when the preference given to revisionist historiographies in the name of forgotten and excluded cultural formations has often resulted in an implicit taboo against exalting or even recognizing the deeply Christian inspiration of some of Western culture's most characteristic and original insights and creations. Murphy's work redresses that bias and imbalance and makes it possible to consciously think without embarrassment the genius of Christianity." - William Franke, Vanderbilt University; "....Russell Murphy's new book is just such a ground-breaking venture. The cultural history of the reception of Byzantium poems is dominated by the notion that Yeats's conception of Byzantium is invented, artificial, rich in symbolism but only vaguely connected to the historical reality of that medieval city. And as fruitful as this approach - insistent on the aesthetic and symbolic character, rather than the factual basis, of the city -- has been, it has almost completely neglected Yeats's knowledge of Byzantine devotional art, and the significance of these facts for our understanding of Yeats's poems and prose. In a bold re-examination of Yeats's employment of Byzantium, Murphy attempts nothing less than a substantial revision of the critical tradition, steering our understanding away from the city as "a fanciful locus of Yeats's imaginings" to a medieval reality.....[This book is] a work of scholarship worthy of high praise, one that will have a lasting effect on aspects of our literary-critical understanding of Yeats." - Rory Ryan, University of Johannesburg; "This new book on Yeats by Professor Murphy (who is editor of the Yeats Eliot Review) focuses on two aspects of Yeats studies that have been either downplayed or misunderstood in the past: the poet's religious interests and his preoccupation with Byzantium.....Murphy's book succeeds admirably in according Yeats's interest in Christianity its due prominence, and in pinning down the poet's knowledge of the historical Byzantium....Murphy's book represents a substantial step forward in its treatment of Christianity and the Byzantine Pantokrator in Yeats studies. It constitutes a welcome antidote to the lubrications of the many practicing atheists who inhabit that field." - (From the Commendatory Preface) Professor Brian Arkins, National University of Ireland, Galway"