Grace of Incorruption : The Selected Essays of Donald Sheehan on Orthodox Life and Poetics

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Professor of literature, scholar, teacher of poets and poetry, convert to the Eastern Orthodox Church, man of prayer, Donald Sheehan wrote these wide-ranging essays with a common commitment to understanding the ways in which the ruining oppositions of our experience can be held within the disciplines of lyric art--held "until God Himself can be seen in the ruins . . . and overwhelmingly and gratefully loved." That is what Sheehan means by "the grace of incorruption." Part One weaves together themes from Sheehan's life and pilgrimages; the spiritual art of Orthodox Saints Gregory of Nyssa, Isaac and Ephraim of Syria, Sergius of Radonezh, Herman of Alaska; the literary art of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Frost, Salinger, and contemporary poets Jane Kenyon, Sydney Lea, and Nicholas Samaras; the philosophy of René Girard--examining the nature of penitence, prayer, personhood, freedom, depression, and the right relationship to the earth. Part Two delves into the poetics of Psalms, especially LXX 118: a "poetics of resurrection," a poetics that came to govern the lifework of an extraordinary man, blessed with faith, learning, and humility.
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2015