Balthasar's Odyssey

Balthasar's Odyssey


Author : Amin Maalouf
Publisher : Random House
Release Date :
ISBN : 1448128048
Pages : 400 pages
Rating Book: 4.4/5 (448 users)

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There are ninety-nine names for God in the Koran, is it possible that there is a secret one-hundredth name? In this tale of magic and mystery, of love and danger, Balthasar's ultimate quest is to find the secret that could save the world. Before the dawn of the apocalyptic 'Year of the Beast' in 1666, Balthasar Embriaco, a Genoese Levantine merchant, sets out on an adventure that will take him across the breadth of the civilised world, from Constantinople, through the Mediterranean, to London shortly before the Great Fire. Balthasar's urgent quest is to track down a copy of one of the rarest and most coveted books ever printed, a volume called 'The Hundredth Name', its contents are thought to be of vital importance to the future of the world. There are ninety-nine names for God in the Koran, and merely to know this most secret hundredth name will, Balthasar believes, ensure his salvation.


100 Must-read Historical Novels

100 Must-read Historical Novels


Author : Nick Rennison
Publisher : A&C Black
Release Date :
ISBN : 1408113961
Pages : 192 pages
Rating Book: 4.0/5 (48 users)

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A brilliant guide to 100 of the finest historical novels ever published from Victor Hugo to Sarah Waters.


Postcolonial Memoir in the Middle East

Postcolonial Memoir in the Middle East


Author : Norbert Bugeja
Publisher : Routledge
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ISBN : 1136252843
Pages : 256 pages
Rating Book: 4.3/5 (136 users)

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This book reconsiders the notion of liminality in postcolonial critical discourse today. By visiting Mashriqi writers of memoir, Bugeja offers a unique intervention in the understanding of 'in-between' and ‘threshold’ states in present-day postcolonialist thought. His analysis situates liminal space as a fraught form of consciousness that mediates between conditions of historical contingency and the memorializing present. Within the present Mashriqi memoir form, liminal spaces may be read as articulations of 'representational spaces' — narrative spaces that, based as they are within the histories of local communities, are nonetheless redolent with memorial and imaginary elements. Liminal consciousness today, Bugeja argues, is a direct consequence of the impact of volatile present-day memories on the re-conception of the open wounds of history. Incisive readings of life-writings by Mourid Barghouti, Amin Maalouf, Orhan Pamuk, Amos Oz, and Wadad Makdisi Cortas demonstrate the double-edged representational chasm that opens up when present acts of memorializing are brought to bear upon the elusive histories of the early-twentieth-century Mashriq. Sifting through the wide-ranging theoretical literature on liminality and challenging received views of the concept, this book proposes a nuanced, materialist, and original rethinking of the liminal as a more vigilant outlook onto the political, literary and historical predicaments of the contemporary Middle East.


Transnational Spaces and Identities in the Francophone World

Transnational Spaces and Identities in the Francophone World


Author : Hafid Gafaiti
Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
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ISBN : 0803224656
Pages : 460 pages
Rating Book: 4.0/5 (83 users)

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The dissolution of the French Empire and the ensuing rush of immigration have led to the formation of diasporas and immigrant cultures that have transformed French society and the immigrants themselves. Transnational Spaces and Identities in the Francophone World examines the impact of this postcolonial immigration on identity in France and in the Francophone world, which has encompassed parts of Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Immigrants bear cultural traditions within themselves, transform “host” communities, and are, in turn, transformed. These migrations necessarily complicate ideals of national literature, culture, and history, forcing a reexamination and a rearticulation of these ideals. Exploring a variety of texts informed by these transnational conceptions of identity and space, the contributors to this volume reveal the vitality of Francophone studies within a broad range of disciplines, periods, and settings. They remind us that the idea and reality of Francophonie is not a late twentieth-century phenomenon but something that grows out of long-term interactions between colonizer and colonized and between peoples of different nationalities, ethnicities, and religions. Truly interdisciplinary, this collection engages conceptions of identity with respect to their physical, geographic, ethnic, and imagined realities.


The Herald

The Herald


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Balthasar's Odyssey: A Novel

Balthasar's Odyssey: A Novel


Author : Amin Maalouf
Publisher : Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
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ISBN : 9781611455403
Pages : pages
Rating Book: 4.5/5 (455 users)

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In 1665, with prophecies and portents fortelling the forthcoming Apocalypse, Balthasar, an antiquarian merchant and sage, embarks on a perilous quest to find a rare book that could hold the key to the world's salvation.


World Literature Today

World Literature Today


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Pages : pages
Rating Book: 4.9/5 (39 users)

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Newsline

Newsline


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Rating Book: 4.9/5 (39 users)

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The Book Review Digest

The Book Review Digest


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Divine Light

Divine Light


Author : William K. Riordan
Publisher : Ignatius Press
Release Date :
ISBN : 1681491400
Pages : 300 pages
Rating Book: 4.8/5 (681 users)

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In his missionary journeys, St. Paul spoke in a number of cities in the Greek peninsula including Athens, renowned for its philosophical heritage. He addressed to them the message of the One, Unknown God (Acts 17:22ff). Among those present in the Areopagus (the open city center of Athens) on that day was a certain Denys (Dionysios) who eventually became a disciple of Paul. Centuries later, a corpus of writings appeared bearing the name of the Denys the Areopagite. These texts were considered to be the writings of the first century disciple of the Apostle Paul and thus achieved almost immediate prominence, strongly influencing the lives of St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662) and St. John Damascene (d.749) in the East and Eriugena (d. 877), St. Bede (d. 735), St. Bernard (d.1153) St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1272) Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464), St. John of the Cross (d. 1591), and many other great minds in the West. Later historical studies of Denys' texts, especially during the 19th century, showed conclusively that the writings are of a later date (5th century) than had generally been thought. Hence, the appending of "Pseudo-" before the name of Denys (Pseudo-Denys, Pseudo-Dionysius) became common place. The extraordinary brilliance of the texts themselves, however, has been in no way dimmed. The late Holy Father John Paul II in his monumental encyclical Fides et Ratio warns insistently against an approach to Revelation that shuns metaphysics. The texts of Denys provide a majestic and profound metaphysical perspective. Deeply formed by the Divine Liturgy and the Sacred Scriptures, this mysterious author uses the great insights of Plato and his later disciples, expressing the deepest profundities of the faith in stunningly beautiful writings. In Denys, readers past, present, and future find a penetrating contemplative vision into the Mystery of the Trinity and its creation. This book is a focused exposition of Denys' theological understanding with particular attention to the illuminating metaphysical depth of his insight. Care has been taken to prepare a text that is readable for the serious laymen accompanied with footnotes to provide a more detailed background for the scholar.


Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought

Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought


Author : Jennifer Newsome Martin
Publisher : University of Notre Dame Pess
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ISBN : 0268158754
Pages : 328 pages
Rating Book: 4.6/5 (268 users)

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In Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought, Jennifer Newsome Martin offers the first systematic treatment and evaluation of the Swiss Catholic theologian’s complex relation to modern speculative Russian religious philosophy. Her constructive analysis proceeds through Balthasar’s critical reception of Vladimir Soloviev, Nicholai Berdyaev, and Sergei Bulgakov with respect to theological aesthetics, myth, eschatology, and Trinitarian discourse and examines how Balthasar adjudicates both the possibilities and the limits of theological appropriation, especially considering the degree to which these Russian thinkers have been influenced by German Idealism and Romanticism. Martin argues that Balthasar’s creative reception and modulation of the thought of these Russian philosophers is indicative of a broad speculative tendency in his work that deserves further attention. In this respect, Martin consciously challenges the prevailing view of Balthasar as a fundamentally conservative or nostalgic thinker. In her discussion of the relation between tradition and theological speculation, Martin also draws upon the understudied relation between Balthasar and F. W. J. Schelling, especially as Schelling's form of Idealism was passed down through the Russian thinkers. In doing so, she persuasively recasts Balthasar as an ecumenical, creatively anti-nostalgic theologian hospitable to the richness of contributions from extra-magisterial and non-Catholic sources.


Balthasar's Odyssey Proof

Balthasar's Odyssey Proof


Author : Amin Maalouf
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Release Date :
ISBN : 9781843430285
Pages : 394 pages
Rating Book: 4.3/5 (43 users)

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In the Koran there are 99 names for God. Does the 100th exist? Months before the dawn of the apocalyptic "Year of the Beast", 1666, Balthasar Embriaco, a Genoese Levantine merchant embarks on a quest to find the answer. He sets out on a journey that will take him across the bredth of the civilized world, making his way to Constantinople and on to Smyrna and Aleppo before embarking for the Isle of Chios and sailing through the Mediterranean, via Genoa and Lisbon, arriving in London shortly before the outbreak of the Great Fire. The purpose of Balthasar's expedition is to search for a copy of the rarest of books, one entitled "The One Hundredth Name". Merely to know this most secret of the names of God will, Balthasar believes, ensure he is saved.


Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Question of Tragedy in the Novels of Thomas Hardy

Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Question of Tragedy in the Novels of Thomas Hardy


Author : Kevin Taylor
Publisher : A&C Black
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ISBN : 0567619567
Pages : 248 pages
Rating Book: 4.6/5 (567 users)

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What role do novels, drama, and tragedy play within Christian thought and living? The twentieth century Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar addressed these questions using tragic drama. For him, Christ was the true tragic hero of the world who exceeded all tragic literature and experience. Balthasar demonstrated how ancient, pre-Christian tragedy and Renaissance works contained important Christian concepts, but he critiqued modern novels as failing to be either truly tragic or Christian. By examining the tragic novels of Thomas Hardy on their own terms, we have an important counterpoint to Balthasar's argument that the novel is too prosaic for theological reflection. Hardy's novels are an apt pairing for examination and critique, as they are both classically and biblically influenced, as well as contemporary.The larger implication for Balthasar's theology is that his innovations in theological aesthetics and tragedy must be expanded in the light of modernity and the tragic novel.


The Publishers Weekly

The Publishers Weekly


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Rating Book: 4.3/5 (31 users)

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What Do I Read Next?

What Do I Read Next?


Author : Neil Barron
Publisher : Gale / Cengage Learning
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ISBN : 9780787690229
Pages : 703 pages
Rating Book: 4.9/5 (69 users)

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Provides synopses for over 1,500 titles of current popular fiction and recommends other books by such criteria as authors, characters portrayed, time period, geographical setting, or genre


Built Environment

Built Environment


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The Word Has Been Abroad

The Word Has Been Abroad


Author : Aidan Nichols
Publisher : CUA Press
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ISBN : 9780813209258
Pages : 268 pages
Rating Book: 4.0/5 (29 users)

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Hans Urs von Balthasar is arguably one of the greatest-and certainly one of the most influential-Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. Awarded the prestigious Paul VI Prize for theology and designated a Cardinal just before his death in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, Balthasar's writings have clearly helped to shape the theological style of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. His seven-volume series The Glory of the Lord provides a rich and complex theological aesthetics approaching God (unusually) through the transcendental attribute of Beauty (Glory) rather than directly through Truth or Goodness, and drawing not only upon theology but upon the entire breadth of the European literary and religious tradition-ancient, mediaeval, modern, and postmodern. Understandably, The Glory of the Lord in its very extent and range is difficult to assimilate. In The Word Has Been Abroad, Aidan Nichols, one of Britain's most accomplished and lucid theological writers, succeeds in summarizing the essential theological content of Balthasar's monumental work, against the background of the living Christian tradition to which it bears such impressive witness. In this way, Father Nichols has provided a much-needed key to understanding one of the most difficult but important writers of our time. This is the first volume of Aidan Nichols's Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar, which will also include guides to Balthasar's theological drama and logic. Aidan Nichols, O.P., is a member of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge, and the author of numerous works of theology and Church history, including a two-volume commentary on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a study of the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. "This book, by one of Britain's best known theological writers, is the first in an 'Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar' series being published the Catholic University of America Press. Here Nichols has set himself the task of guiding us through the often difficult seven-volume Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Balthasar's vast work on a vast subject: the beauty of God. With this very good book, Nichols has done us a great service."--New Oxford Review "The analysis is lucid and accurate and will give the reader an excellent presentation of Balthasar's project."--Worship "The prolific English Catholic historian Aidan Nichols has written an authoritative and sympathetic introduction to Balthasar's multi-volumed magnum opus, The Glory of the Lord."--Church Times "[This work] makes Balthasar's labyrinthine style intelligible to the pragmatic British or American reader. . . . Nichols explains with considerable intellectual vigor what Balthasar's whole exercise in 'aesthetics' and in the historical growth thereof intended. The summary of the dialectics between the Old and the New Testament (and of their mutual need) are masterpieces in themselves. . . . Nichols has written an excellent and highly useful work. His understanding of Balthasar is thorough and fair. In the emerging exegetical corpus on Balthasar this book will surely maintain its place among the most valuable and durable."--The Review of Metaphysics "A very useful book in that it not only follows the shape and content of the first part of Balthasar's trilogy exactly, but offers an interpretive key to the vast oeuvre which explores the beauty of God and which dialogues with a great diversity of thinkers, biblical and pagan, ancient and modern. . . . Nichols has done us a great service in providing a readable guide to Herrlichkeit."--Heythrop Journal "Disciples of Balthasar will welcome Nichols's book. Students will find it a useful companion to their own more critical study and reflection on a theologian whose valuable insights as well as prejudices continue to