Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Christian Humanist #10: Literary Hell

It should be up on Feedburner and iTunes sometime this afternoon; in the meantime, here's the show notes. Also, please visit the new Christian Humanist Podcast website!

General Introduction

- Response to listener email and the CWC
- Football talk

The Greco-Roman Underworld

- Odysseus in Hades
- Aeneas in the underworld
- Awkward!

Anglo-Saxon Hell
- Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother
- Do we need to make Beowulf into a theological allegory?
- Hell without flames
- Hel as a person

Tactile vs. Abstract

- Why are modern minds so nervous about physical location?
- Anxiety over falsification?
- TBN reads The Weekly World News

The Master of the Afterlife

- Our favorite translations
- The Allen Mandelbaum story
- The division of the circles

- Our favorite punishments

Milton’s Hell

- The pathos and anxiety of counteroffensive
- Genesis B
- The role of self-deception in literary hells

20th-Century Hells (And More!)
- “Don Juan in Hell”
- Trying to make sense of William Blake
- Lewis’ bus ride over the moon
- The Orthodox version of hell
- Purgatory
- One-dimensional sin and Piers Plowman
- Hell is other people

Lightning Round
- What are the dangers?
- Is literary hell a good thing or a bad thing?


Aquinas, Thomas. The Summa Theologica. New York: Pearson, 2008.

Barth, Karl. Dogmatics in Outline. New York: Harper, 1959.

Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Trans. Seamus Heaney. New York: Norton, 2001.

Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake’s Poetry and Designs. Ed. John E. Grant and Mary Lynn Johnson. New York: Norton, 2007.

The Blickling Homilies. Trans. Richard J. Kelly. New York: Continuum 2003.

Dante. The Divine Comedy. Trans. Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Everyman’s, 1995.

---. Trans. Mark Musa. New York: Penguin, 2002. 3 volumes.

---. The Divine Comedy. Trans. Dorothy L. Sayers. New York: Penguin, 1950. 3 volumes.

Eliot, T.S. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950. New York: Harcourt, 1952.

Gower, John. Confessio Amantis. Trans. Andrew Galloway. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute, 2006.

Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Langland, William. Piers Plowman. New York: Norton, 2006.

Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce. New York: HarperOne, 2009.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. New York: Norton, 2004.

The Poems of MS Junius 11: Basic Readings. Ed. R.M. Liuzza. Florence, Kent.: Routledge, 2002.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. No Exit and Three Other Plays. New York: Vintage, 1989.

Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. New York: Penguin, 1979.

Virgil. The Aeneid. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 2008.

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