Christian Hope and Christian Life

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Front Cover of Christian Hope and Christian Life

Christian Hope and Christian Life

Raids on the Inarticulate

Does Christian hope refer only to life after death? Or does it offer a vision transforming our lives right here, right now? This book explores this question through the eyes of church fathers (Eastern and Western), poets, and mystics.

What is the destiny of the human soul in this life and the next? Dare we hope to “see God face to face,” or will our vision of God remain forever filtered “through a glass, darkly”? In this remarkable volume, Rowan A. Greer turns to the New Testament, the church fathers, and later writers to throw light on their own visions of the human soul. He suggests that Augustine of Hippo and Gregory of Nyssa represent two distinct strands of Christian thinking that find expression later in writers such as John Donne and Jeremy Taylor. Greer, who has trained two generations of historians and theologians in the rich thought of the early church, has succeeded in writing a volume that is both full of original scholarly insight and, by virtue of his elegant writing, accessible to laypeople and non-specialists.

Reviews and endorsements

“An astonishingly beautiful and learned book, as subtle as it is elegant and as deep as it is compelling. Greer offers us a kind of eschatological spirituality on the rich traditions of reflection on the Christian hope.”
John Cavadini, Chairman of the Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame


“Greer’s treatments are richly nuanced and maturely considered, overflowing with devotional inspiration and scholarly insights, worthy to be savored and read again and again.”
Marilyn McCord Adams, Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology, Yale University Divinity School


“Rowan Greer has exceptional ability — a gift — to help us think with the scriptures, with Gregory of Nyssa, with Augustine, about the Christian life. In this wonderful book, he draws on the resources of the Christian tradition to help us see the incoherence of our own lives. Only then will we see why God matters.”
Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University Divinity School

Paperback / 288 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4