Impossible to say: representing religious mystery in fiction by Malamud, Percy, Ozick, and O'Connor
Although Judaism and Catholicism have important differences, both religions contain elements of religious mystery, aspects of belief that transcend the rational. This book studies how Jewish and Catholic practices of giving structure to religious mystery are embodied in the works of Bernard Malamud, Walker Percy, Cynthia Ozick, and Flannery O'Connor. The volume links Malamud with Percy and Ozick with O'Connor because these authors depict religious mystery in similar ways. Percy and Malamud use the quest form to give shape to mystery, while O'Connor and Ozick use the grotesque and fantastic to evoke the numinous. Whether presenting a movement toward mystery or serving to evoke it, these four authors explore an ineffable dimension that readers need to sense in order to gain a better understanding of their works.
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Malamuds and Percys Quests
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action anagogical anagogical level Aquinas argues Asbury authors baptism believe Bernard Malamud biblical Binx Binx's Catholicism central characters Christ Christian Church commandments connection Conversations with Bernard Copyright crown Cynthia Ozick divine elements emphasis Eucharist Excerpts explains faith fantastic father feeling fiction Fixer Flannery O'Connor Frank gious God's Grace golem Grail Greenleaf grotesque Holocaust human insists interpretation Isaac Jesus Jewish Jewish and Catholic Jews Judaism and Catholicism Lancelot Levitation literature living Lucy Maimonides Malamud and Percy Malamud's and Percy's means midrash Misfit mitzvot moral Morris mystical narrative narrator nature nonrational novel numinous Ozick and O'Connor Parker physical points postmodern priest Puttermesser quest rabbinic Judaism rational reader reason recognize relationship religion religious commitment religious mystery ritual sacraments Sandy Cohen says seems sense Sheindel significant soul specific spiritual story suggests supernatural tattoo theology thing tion Torah tradition understanding verisimilitude Walker Percy Will's writing Xanthippe Yakov