Nikos Kazantzakis and Christian Theology
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of Pages: 174
Width: 16.2 cm
Height: 23.9 cm
Broken Hallelujah offers a unique perspective on one of the most prolific and celebrated twentieth-century European writers, Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957). Marking the fiftieth anniversary of Kazantzakis's death, author Darren J. N. Middleton looks back on Kazantzakis's life and literary art to suggest that, contrary to popular belief, Kazantzakis and his views actually comport with the ideals of Christianity. As a theologian and ordained Baptist minister, Middleton approaches Kazantzakisas as a broadly sympathetic spiritual seeker rather than the traditional religious villain as he is routinely portrayed. Based on archival work conducted at the Kazantzakis library in Iraklion and at various monasteries on Athos, Middleton finds important connections between Kazantzakis's work and key themes in Eastern Orthodox theology, especially the "hesychastic" and "apophatic" traditions. This book advances modern Greek studies as well as general theological studies by acknowledging and celebrating Kazantzakis's clear if admittedly uneasy alliance with Christianity. Broken Hallelujah is a fascinating text that will interest scholars in Christianity and Literature studies, as well as those thinking through the faith in this era.
Scholars who are familiar with Kazantzakis's works as well as those looking for an introduction to religious themes in Kazantzakis will benefit from this clearly written, insightful book. [Its] chief virtue lies in the way Middleton brings together the major themes in Kazantzakis's work (e.g., transubstantiation, the idea that we save God, etc.) with some of the major themes in contemporary theology (e.g., postmodern negative theology, process thought, etc.). An unbroken hallelujah for Middleton's Broken Hallelujah! -- Daniel A. Dombrowski, Seattle University