Christianity, Tragedy, and Holocaust Literature

by Michael R. Steele

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July 1995


Pages 208
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/General
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Identifying elements of the Christian worldview that have influenced our theories of tragedy, Steele demonstrates how these theories fail when applied to Holocaust literature. The challenge of interpreting Holocaust literature is highlighted by a close investigation of the extent to which Christian thought, especially the view of transcendence, has permeated theories of interpretation. The author appeals for a new theory of tragedy which would allow an understanding of Holocaust literature without Christian interpretive biases. This book will be of interest to scholars of Holocaust literature, religion, and literary criticism.

Topic Centers

Series Foreword
The Problem
Tragedy and the Holocaust
Necessity, Destiny, Order, Pattern
Redemptive Knowledge, Intelligibility, Self-Knowledge
Suffering, Innocence, Guilt, Tragic Magnitude
Human Affirmation, Consolatory Theism, Transcendent Values, and Tragic Pleasure
The Tragic Hero
Reflections on Christian Culpability and the Problematics of Belief
Conclusion--Toward a Workable Theory



Readable and based on solid scholarship, this is a fine contribution to literature in general and to the evaluation of Holocaust literature specifically.— National Catholic Reporter


Michael Steele's eloquently conceived and written book explores the surrounding Christian philosophical milieu in the generations before and the years during the Holocaust. If one wants to understand Auschwitz one must read Elie Wiesel, but if one wants to understand how to read about Auschwitz then Steele's book is a must.—Merritt Linn, author A Book of Songs

A masterful synthesis. . . . A painful, compelling book for all those interested in the Holocaust and in the interpretation of the Holocaust, not simply Holocaust literature.—Marshall M. Lee, Professor of History Pacific University

Other Titles of Interest

The Stones Will Cry Out cover imageReturn cover imageChristianity, The Other, and The Holocaust cover image
Searching for Meaning in the Holocaust cover imageHistory, Religion, and Meaning cover imageLearning from History cover image

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