Review: Christ and Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination

Christ and Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination
Christ and Apollo: The Dimensions of the Literary Imagination by William F. Lynch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Father William F. Lynch here presents his Christological vision of literary criticism. He departs from and critiques the many modern movements in literary criticism that would reduce the reading and analysis of texts to the merely political or social and the writing of these texts to an exercise in gnosticism. Lynch instead sees the Incarnation and the Eucharist as the starting points for any Christian movements in literary theory. For him, the particular is of the utmost importance and ultimately it is through entering deep into the finite that we attain the infinite.

Lynch is often difficult to read and understand, but this is not a point on which he should be criticized. Instead, his style invites the reader to ponder over his words and to reread them again and again, gaining further insight each time, perhaps, in so doing, directly us to precisely the way Lynch believes we should read. The copious quotations from medieval sources near the end of the book are a great plus that offer insight into Lynch’s ideas and their sources.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in literary theory and the place of the Christian in this field. I also recommend this to any Christians of an intellectual bent as its insights can be applied far beyond the field of literary theory.

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