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In The Aftermath: Provocations and Laments Paperback – Dec 15 2008

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (Dec 15 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802845738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802845733
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #497,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School "The sheer delight that David Bentley Hart's turns of phrase invite tempts me to agree with almost anything he writes almost. Not since Newman have we had a theologian at once so erudite, profound, stylistically brilliant, and funny. His harsh judgments and outrageous opinions betray an irrepressible generosity of soul." Richard John Neuhaus, editor-in-chief of"First Things" "There are few thinkers or writers today, or of any time, who can match the erudition, wit, and fetching prose of David Hart. Read this book and be prepared to be instructed, entertained, and provoked to think again about the really important questions." Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School "David Bentley Hart is an agent provocateur with a taste for beauty, as the saturated prose and argument of this volume abundantly show. We Christians are lucky to have him, and anyone Christian or not with a taste for argument and wit will find this volume a delight. Read Hart on Gogol or on Waugh and learn thereby to love them more and for the right reasons. Or read him on the difference between Christ and nothing, and come to understand how that is the only difference that finally counts. In any case, read him.""

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"In the Aftermath" is a collection of twenty-one popular-level articles (2001-2007) from theologian D.B. Hart. There are book reviews as well as broadly philosophical reflections on religion, modernism, politics, the problem of evil, and so on. It's the first of Hart's books that I've read. So, that "readers have come to expect" a "virtuosic prose" (publisher's blurb) was not known to me. Hart himself makes several references to his prose-style in the introduction. And he hopes that readers will "take pleasure" therein. Now, I personally found that rather hard to do, inasmuch as Hart's "purple" prose regularly exceeded the bounds of taste. (Here's a sample: "... in shallow depressions of the concrete floor opaque pools of oleaginous water glistened with a sinister opalescence.") Nonetheless, it's not a bad read overall. Hart is someone of learning both deep and wide. And he makes many noteworthy remarks. My feelings are mixed, then, but mostly positive. It has me interested, for sure. I'd like to read something more substantive from the author. Maybe TheBeautyoftheInfinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c826774) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c6ca2e8) out of 5 stars Fantastic Collection of Essays! But... March 21 2009
By Derrick A. Peterson - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Bentley Hart is quickly becoming something of a theological celebrity, based in no small part on his massive erudition, incredible breadth of learning, beautiful (though often excessive) writing style, and--lets be honest--a sharp sense of humor and a penchant to hold no punches back when criticizing (ridiculing?) his opponents.

This book represents an amazing collection of essays, spanning from Hart's philosophically challenging "Christ and Nothing," which represents both an abridged version of his (to this point) magnum opus in The Beauty of the Infinite and an elaboration of themes which will hopefully spawn another book someday, to lighter fair such as the wonderful "Laughter of the Philosophers," or the scathing critique of Daniel Dennet in "Daniel Dennet Hunts the Snark." I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Hart (or, especially, wanting to get interested) as these essays are much, much easier to read than incredibly difficult though incredibly rewarding Beauty of the Infinite. The only caveat is that most (if not in fact all) of these essays can be found online--for free. In fact many of the essays (e.g. Christ and Nothing and the one on Daniel Dennet) can be found on the First Things website. Aside from this, this book is a wonderful read and it is certainly refreshing to read someone with Harts lucid and often poetic writing style who nonetheless has such a deep knowledge of theology, philosophy, and literature.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c6ca6f0) out of 5 stars David Hart unleashes the snark Nov. 15 2010
By ecclesial hypostasis - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Hart is one of the finest essayists in the Christian tradition today, producing learned, witty, relevant and passionate articles on the contemporary intellectual and religious scene. This collection is of some of his best, including the influential 'Christ and Nothing' and some of his preparatory articles on which 'The Doors of the Sea' were based.

Hart's style is very distinctive, combining conservative opinions on modern society with the aesthetic and mystical vision of Eastern Christianity, his prose alternating between biting satire and flights of beautiful but near incomprehensible theological meditation. Adorning almost every page is another word that will not be found in the vocabulary of even the most erudite reader, lending the text a kind of elegant impenetrability (I tend just to guess what he is meaning to say rather than consulting a dictionary, and have never felt cheated). Those who enjoy the essays of C.S. Lewis would find and enjoy a similar voice in Hart.

A year or two ago I would have given this book five stars, but subtle changes in my emotional and intellectual 'weather' have made Hart's thought seem a bit less expansive and encouraging than it did. I think that the issue is that he takes too long and goes too far in his critique before returning to a positive vision, so that in the end he induces something of the nihilism that is his most implacable foe.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c6ca768) out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning Feb. 2 2009
By Clifford R. Fischer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays by David Bentley Hart is incredible. In it are some of the most epic, stirring, and intelligent essays, I would venture to say, of the past several hundred years on American or modern culture, religion, or simply books, people, and events. I know of no man more learned and more capable of exercising his learning than Hart, and that he can make a review into something of intense drama or joy and a profound learning experience is still beyond me. Prepare to have your world shaken, your mind humbled, and your life enriched.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c6caaf8) out of 5 stars A beautiful mind May 30 2009
By Frederick R. Jordan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love reading David Bentley Hart. His language is always a challenge. His sentences take a person on a thoughtful journey. He believes in something wonderful and good, and that belief oozes onto the page.
HASH(0x9c6cac30) out of 5 stars In the Aftermath Feb. 24 2015
By John - Published on
Verified Purchase
Despite how I differ with David Hart in much of his theology, he has become one of my favorite authors, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of essays, articles and reviews he wrote. Even when he was writing on something of little interest to me, I couldn't help but appreciate his mastery of language and expression. Of course, it is sometimes obnoxious needing to look up the definition for words on my kindle every other page, but yeah, despite his absurdly large vocabulary, he is a great writer. One of my favorite chapters was "Freedom and Decency" which challenged my opinions on the topic of censorship. I really appreciate Harts Theodicy in the articles reflecting on the Tsunami, I want to go ahead and get his book on the topic. Of course "On the trail of the Snark with Daniel Dennett" is a gem, Theist cannot help but grin as they witness Hart with his merciless wit and intellect tear the new atheist asunder, he gives them a taste of their own medicine.