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The Scandal of Sacramentality: The Eucharist in Literary and Theological Perspectives Paperback – March 17, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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Theology can be profoundly disturbing, shocking, and enticing. In particular, let eucharistic 'body and blood' be explored in sometimes hair-raising texts and we may find the courage to re-engage with dimensions of mystery that we would prefer to marginalize or even forget. Novelists are among our crucial resources for re-engaging religious mystery and our cultures. This book's remarkable achievement is to show us how this may be done. --Ann Loades, Professor Emerita of Divinity, University of Durham
In the texts addressed by Hancock here we return to the body in all its messy complexity, and therefore to the mystery that lies at the very heart of the incarnation, the Word made flesh. . . . For some, this may seem a profane book--but it is in its heart deeply sacramental and, perhaps, even devout. Yet it is timely and challenging, a reminder that religion, and the Christian sacramental tradition, remains a central part of our world and our experience of what it is to be human. --David Jasper, Professor of Literature and Theology, University of Glasgow
If we wonder why some scandals persist, not for a round of media infamy, but for millennia of controversy and creativity, then this book gives us much insight into what surely is the paragon case study. Whether we are participants in the Eucharistic sacrament, or simply interested in its literary embodiments, there is plenty to be gained from this scholarly reappraisal--and from all its provocations. --Andrew Hass, Reader in Religion, University of Stirling
About the Author
Brannon Hancock is a pastor and theologian in the Church of the Nazarene and an adjunct professor at Trevecca Nazarene University and Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. His work has appeared in Literature and Theology, The Journal of Religion and Film, and Conversations in Religion and Theology.
Top customer reviews
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This book will pull you in through the opening chapters of section one with it's discussion of metaphors, signs, symbols, and the presence/absence of Christ in the Eucharist. There's a lot to digest there which you will want to reflect on again after reading it. You may not understand what I mean by this until you read it but the section on the death of God is actually a helpful way to understand the living Christ in our table celebrations.
The second section of the book deals with the sacramentality found in works of literature such as Crash, Monsenior Quixote, Perfume, and various other works. You will be challenged, enlightened, drawn in, repulsed, disgusted, thoroughly engaged, and ultimately drawn in by the content, and that's exactly what you want because it engages you at every step of the way, even while making you feel a bit unsettled at times. In this excellent work you will find sacramentalism in places you would have never thought (Cannibalism, Eroticism, Fight Club). In it you develop a picture of a God who is present in His seeming absence, yet unwilling to stay aloof. The God of scripture engages us not through heavenly remoteness, but through the earthy messiness of flesh and blood.
The Scandal of Sacramentality is a solidly academic yet highly readable book that is worth your time.
Take and eat. Raise and drink. Buy and read.