Journal Article

Steiner and Eagleton: The Practice of Hope and the Idea of the Tragic

Graham Ward

in Literature and Theology

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 100-111
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/fri014
Steiner and Eagleton: The Practice of Hope and the Idea of the Tragic

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In his 1961 study, The Death of Tragedy, George Steiner wrote that ‘Tragedy is that form of art which requires the intolerable burden of God's presence.’ Nevertheless, he insists throughout that Christianity is inimical to tragedy because it determines that the ways of God and man are both just and rational. This essay explores Steiner's complex literary approach to tragedy and juxtaposes it with tragedy as historical event as investigated by Terry Eagleton in his 2003 volume Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic. It argues that the tragic concerns all that is human in relation to God. But in Christ God takes into Himself that tragedy such that tragedy does not have the last word. Nevertheless the tragic remains in living sacrificially, living ecstatically towards the other and the only way we can dwell in such a place is to take upon ourselves the ‘intolerable burden’ of such a hope.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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