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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Gerard Loughlin

Loughlin, Gerard (2007). "Rhetoric and Rhapsody: A Response to David Bentley Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite". New Blackfriars 88(1017): 600-609.

Author(s) from Durham


I offer a brief outline of The Beauty of the Infinite, pointing up its similarities with and differences from John Milbank's Theology and Social Theory (1990), and the violence of its rhetoric. I then take issue with Hart's reading of Nicholas Lash on the death and resurrection of Christ. I argue that not only is Lash closer to Hart than Hart allows, but that Lash recognizes the necessarily unfinished nature of Christian story telling. Hart is led by his rhetoric of out-narration to affirm an unsustainable completeness that elides the terrors of suffering and death, the very fault for which Hart chides Lash. Having noted Hart's misdirection I conclude with an appreciation of his aesthetics.