A Literary Shema

Annie Dillard's Judeo-Christian Vision and Voice

By Lori A. Kanitz

A Literary Shema

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  • ISBN: 9781532642036
  • Pages: 216
  • Publication Date: 2/10/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $20.80

A Literary Shema

Annie Dillard's Judeo-Christian Vision and Voice

By Lori A. Kanitz

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532642036
  • Pages: 216
  • Publication Date: 2/10/2020
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

For the duration of her writing career, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard has unflinchingly asked and kept on asking enormous and difficult questions: What is the relation of Creator to creation? Why is there evil and unjust suffering? How do we make meaning of our experiences? Who is responsible for redeeming the world’s brokenness? Moreover, she has done so in every genre within the impressive range of her canon: her poetry, literary nonfiction, novels, autobiography, literary criticism, and memoirs. Two enduring influences have shaped Dillard’s cosmos-spanning questions and their metanarratives—Christianity and Jewish mysticism, particularly Hasidism and Isaac Luria’s Kabbalism. Though much scholarly attention has been paid to the influence of Christian mysticism in Dillard’s work, none has yet explored the role of her lifelong interest in Jewish mystical traditions. This book seeks to fill that scholarly gap and demonstrate how Dillard’s theological vision and voice both reflect and enact central features of Hasidic and Kabbalistic thought, resulting in what could be called Dillard’s literary shema.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Lori Kanitz has written a deeply learned and sensitive account of Dillard’s immersion in Hasidic and Kabbalistic mysticism which brings theology, both mystical and sacramental, into the very heart of her texts. The themes of creation, evil, and redemption are explored through Dillard’s Judeo-Christian sensitivities and reveal her profound and humane scholarship within both the Jewish and Christian traditions. Kanitz’s book itself is theologically and ethically challenging, a beautifully written essay on a major writer.”

—David Jasper, FRSA, FRSE, University of Glasgow and Renmin University of China



“Some of Annie Dillard’s best-known works have challenged conventional accounts of the divine’s relation to the world by setting vivid descriptions of its horrors alongside lyrical descriptions of its beauty. Inevitably, readers are puzzled at how this might fit with Dillard’s acknowledged sympathy for religious belief. In this brilliant, insightful study Lori Kanitz identifies the mystical Judaism of Kabbalah and Hasidism as the deepest influence on her. The result is not only a penetrating analysis of where Dillard stands (her shema or credo) but also a profound exploration of how encounters with negations of the good might best be understood.”

—David Brown, FBA, FRSE, University of St Andrews



“In this outstanding book Dr. Kanitz negotiates her way via ‘mystical’ Judaism into ‘the abyss of life’s mysteries’ interrogated by Annie Dillard’s unsparing and unsentimental intelligence. Moreover, she shows us Annie Dillard as theologian of divine ‘sacramental’ presence, in a creation of a ‘holy insecurity’ piercing God’s own being.”

—Ann Loades, CBE, University of Durham

Contributors-

Lori A. Kanitz

Bio(s)-

Lori A. Kanitz is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University where she also teaches in the Honors College.

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