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A Theology of CriticismBalthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination$
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Michael P. Murphy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333527.001.0001

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  Therapy

  Therapy

No Creature Stands Alone before God

Chapter:
(p.127) 5Therapy
Source:
A Theology of Criticism
Author(s):

Michael Patrick Murphy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333527.003.0005

Chapter 5 presents a reading of David Lodge's novel Therapy (1995) in light of Balthasar's Theo‐logic. Lodge does well to illustrate that the erasure of God that preoccupies postmodern consciousness significantly affects contemporary conceptions about “subject formation” and “people in relation.” Lodge develops these themes by constructing a narrative that mirrors both the theological trajectory of Balthasar's tripartite program and the existential progression identified by the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard—namely, the aesthetic, ethical, and religious “stages” of human experience. Importantly, a close consideration of Kierkegaard's stages reveals a direct analogy with the transcendentals, which, in turn, illuminates one of the many reasons why Balthasar admired Kierkegaard and why Lodge's novel is a fertile literary example of Balthasar's Theologic. By a close consideration of the triadic structure of being presented by a variety of sources, the chapter begins to discern how God's logic—how human logic—exists in a trinitarian dynamic.

Keywords:   Hans Urs von Balthasar, David Lodge, Flannery O'Connor, René Girard, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Buber, Jacques Derrida, Michel de Certeau, Judith Butler, Paul Fiddes, George Steiner, Catherine LaCugna, “Therapy,”, Catholic imagination, analogical imagination, eschatology, mimetic desire, Incarnation, Trinity, trinitarian, perichoresis, I and Thou, personalism, subjectivity, postmodernism, theological aesthetics, Theo‐logic

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