In the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, an event which led to the horror of World War I. In 1992, Sarajevo again lurched into prominence as the focal point of one of the century's bloodiest civil wars. Yet Sarajevo at one point epitomized the dreams of the Enlightenment, a city where Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisted peacefully. In the midst of Sarajevo's recent decline into chaos and destruction, Susan Sontag decided to produce Act one of "Waiting for Godot", which, despite ever-advancing danger, played to packed houses. Why did this city of hope lie crushed at the end of the 20th century? Why did Sontag stage an artistic production in the midst of such overwhelming tragedy? Why "Waiting for Godot"? And, most important of all, why the silent appreciative tears of audience members who risked their lives to attend a play in the middle of a war? These are the questions which guide David Toole's theological reflections, as he seeks to come to terms with what it means to live a life of dignity in a world of undeniable suffering.
'David Toole's book suggests, with great originality, that we are today confronted with three alternatives: nihilistic despair, tragic resignation, or an apocalyptic and hopeful overcoming of meaninglessness.' John Milbank, Professor of Theology, University of Virginia