Existentialists and Mystics

Writings on Philosophy and Literature

Existentialists and Mystics

Best known as the author of twenty-six novels, Iris Murdoch has also made significant contributions to the fields of ethics and aesthetics. Collected here for the first time in one volume are her most influential literary and philosophical essays. Tracing Murdoch's journey to a modern Platonism, this volume includes incisive evaluations of the thought and writings of T. S. Eliot, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvior, and Elias Canetti, as well as key texts on the continuing importance of the sublime, on the concept of love, and the role great literature can play in curing the ills of philosophy.Existentialists and Mystics not only illuminates the mysticism and intellectual underpinnings of Murdoch's novels, but confirms her major contributions to twentieth-century thought.

Murdoch on Truth and Love

Murdoch on Truth and Love

This book reviews Iris Murdoch’s thought as a whole. It surveys the breadth of her thinking, taking account of her philosophical works, her novels and her letters. It shows how she explored many aspects of experience and brought together apparently contradictory concepts such as truth and love. The volume deals with her notions of truth, love, language, morality, politics and her life. It shows how she offers a challenging provocative way of seeing things which is related to but distinct from standard forms of analytical philosophy and Continental thought. Unlike so many philosophers she does offer a philosophy to live by and unlike many novelists she has reflected deeply on the kind of novels she aimed to write. The upshot is that her novels and her philosophy can be read together productively as contributions to how we can see others and the world.

Existentialist Engagement in Wallace, Eggers and Foer

A Philosophical Analysis of Contemporary American Literature

Existentialist Engagement in Wallace, Eggers and Foer

The novels of David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer are increasingly regarded as representing a new trend, an 'aesthetic sea change' in contemporary American literature. 'Post-postmodernism' and 'New Sincerity' are just two of the labels that have been attached to this trend. But what do these labels mean? What characterizes and connects these novels? Den Dulk shows that the connection between these works lies in their shared philosophical dimension. On the one hand, they portray excessive self-reflection and endless irony as the two main problems of contemporary Western life. On the other hand, the novels embody an attempt to overcome these problems: sincerity, reality-commitment and community are portrayed as the virtues needed to achieve a meaningful life. This shared philosophical dimension is analyzed by viewing the novels in light of the existentialist philosophies of Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Albert Camus.

Cross-Gendered Literary Voices

Appropriating, Resisting, Embracing

Cross-Gendered Literary Voices

This book investigates male writers' use of female voices and female writers' use of male voices in literature and theatre from the 1850s to the present, examining where, how and why such gendered crossings occur and what connections may be found between these crossings and specific psychological, social, historical and political contexts.

Augustine and the Fundamentalist’s Daughter

Augustine and the Fundamentalist’s Daughter

In Augustine and the Fundamentalist's Daughter, Margaret Miles weaves her memoirs together with reflections on Augustine's Confessions. Having read and reread Augustine's Confessions, in admiration as well as frustration, over the past thirty-five years, Miles brings her memories of childhood and youth in a fundamentalist home into conversation with Augustine's effort to understand his life. The result is a fascinating work of autobiographical and theological reflection. Moreover, this project brings together a rare combination of insights on fundamentalists' convictions and habits of mind, as well as on differences among fundamentalists. Such reflections are especially urgent in this time in which fundamentalism is prominent in political and social discourse.

Iris Murdoch, Philosopher

Iris Murdoch, Philosopher

This is a collection of essays on Iris Murdoch, who was a notable philosopher as well as novelist. She was and remained an admirer of Wittgenstein, and she taught at Oxford for 15 years; but she believed that British Philosophy needed the influence also of continental Europe, and above all from Kant and Hegel. Her philosophical books have the distinction of exciting a wide general readership as well as students and professionals-and, while they aim atrehabilitating a kind of metaphysics, they also aim to help us with the very practical question 'How can we make ourselves morally better?' This book gives not only an introduction to Murdoch's important philosophical life and work, but also a picture of British philosophy in one of its heydays and at animportant moment of transition.

Minding the Spirit

The Study of Christian Spirituality

Minding the Spirit

The birth of an academic discipline is a rare event. Even more extraordinary is academia's acknowledgment that spirituality has scholarly as well as personal dimensions. Inquiry and dialogue are the essence of this new discipline, as it paves the way toward a deeper understanding of what it means to be human within the Christian faith. The twenty-five essays in this volume, originally published in either the Christian Spirituality Bulletin or Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, offer groundbreaking explorations of Christian spirituality. Arranged under five broad headings, these essays create an insightful dialogue on the questions, methods, and critical approaches implemented by the discipline's top scholars. Topics addressed include the particular intellectual and methodological challenges presented by spirituality as an academic discipline, the self-implicating nature of the study of spirituality, historical perspectives, theological implications, healing as a function of spirituality, and the relationship between aesthetics and spirituality—art and spirit. Scholars working on either broad or focused themes in spirituality will benefit from this clear and accessible presentation of the salient aspects of the discipline. In their insight and historical and methodological content, these essays provide valuable tools for students and teachers of spirituality and related fields, in their insight and historical and methodological content. This volume speaks to all who practice and study spirituality from any religious or secular perspective, encouraging reflective and open dialogue with one of humanity's major religious traditions. Contributors: J. Matthew Ashley, Thomas Berry, Mark S. Burrows, Douglas Burton-Christie, Lawrence S. Cunningham, Lisa E. Dahill, Elizabeth A. Dreyer, Mary Frohlich, Belden C. Lane, Elizabeth Liebert, E. Ann Matter, Bernard McGinn, Meredith B. McGuire, Mark McIntosh, Barbara Newman, Walter H. Principe, Don E. Saliers, Sandra M. Schneiders, Philip F. Sheldrake, Jon Sobrino, Wendy M. Wright

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's groundbreaking work has transformed the way we think about gender and identity. Without her 1949 text The Second Sex, gender theory as we know it today would be unthinkable. A leading figure in French existentialism, Beauvoir's concepts of 'becoming woman' and of woman as 'Other' are among the most influential ideas in feminist enquiry and debate. This book guides the reader through the main areas of Simone de Beauvoir's thought, including: *existentialism and ethics *gender studies and feminism *literature and autobiography *sexuality, the body and ageing Drawing upon Beauvoir's literary and theoretical texts, this is the ideal introduction to her thought for students on a range of courses including literature, cultural studies, gender, philosophy and modern languages.

The Existentialist Legacy and Other Essays on Philosophy and Religion

The Existentialist Legacy and Other Essays on Philosophy and Religion

The Existentialist Legacy and Other Essays on Philosophy and Religion is a collection of essays on: existentialist philosophy and the philosophy of religion. The common thread running through the essays is a way of approaching issues in philosophy and religion that reflects the author's career-long indebtedness to the methods and emphases of the existentialist movement in philosophy.