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.
Series Foreword Introduction 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 Bibliography Index
Endorsements 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