38. Despair to Faith

Th. 14 July 2022 to Th. 21 July 2022

(5,124 words. Read time: 26 minutes.)

The tension of translation is between readability and accuracy. Hard to achieve both. I deal with texts in translation more often than the average person, I would think. This last school year, I taught Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, which is originally in German. Gregor Samsa wakes up as an “ungeheueren Ungeziefer,” which is usually translated into something like “horrible vermin.” Accurate, mostly, but not very descriptive. Granted, it is a complex phrase to parse literally. Ungeheuren (adj.) is a size word, like “enormous,” “immense,” “tremendous,” or “monstrous,” and it appears to be a word less preferred than others when describing a large something. Ungeziefer (n.) does mean “vermin” but also refers to “pests” and “insects.” If one searches the word on German Google Images, one finds an array of small, six-legged insects. In English, “vermin” also signifies bigger creatures like rats, squirrels, or wild rabbits. Especially on the farm, where anything that raids or infests might be called “varmint” by an angry Appalachian man or woman. Gregor Samsa is undoubtedly an insect, given later descriptions of his buggy form. He is often pictured as a cockroach, though there is little textual evidence to suggest this.

Another text in translation: the Bible. Humph! Yes, I know. Even the word “Bible” might conjure bad images in one’s mind. Might make one think of all the partisan religiosity wrecking the country and our churches. Might make one think of old, white men with too much power. Evangelicals voted for Trump, and supposedly, Evangelicals read the Bible. I am not so sure, and I am not one of them. Please, suspend your judgment for a moment and bear with me as you would a friend. Maybe what follows is for you and maybe not. Mostly, it is for me. I need to remember the past and write it down. I need to decide what to do about my present and who I want to become.

Between the end of 2015 and 24 May 2018, I completed a full reading of Christianity’s sacred text. Filled at least eight journals along the way. It was a scenic route with much stopping and starting. Then, I fell off of the habit of daily reading and journaling. I do not remember why. In any case, most of my efforts after that point became sporadic, sometimes nonexistent. I moved to Shanghai, China. Was a part of a Southern Baptist missionary plant while I was there (options were limited, chose not to become a member). Spent more time reading The Lord of the Rings—the only book I brought with me—than I did reading scripture.

Returning home, I landed in Milwaukie, OR, to teach middle school math and social studies. Attended Grace City Church in Portland. The following summer, on 2 July 2020, I moved to Kirkland, WA, with my brother. A good year. He is the best roommate I have ever had. He was much busier than I, who was getting through a pandemic by private tutoring a range of ages in a range of subjects. On 27 October 2020, I finished reading the Gospel of Luke. From 4 December 2020 to sometime in the spring of 2021, Jimmy, Junil, and I read and discussed the Acts of the Apostles. Did not take much or any notes by the looks of it; I can only find four journal entries with an “Acts” header. I remember wanting to write less and listen more. Reach Church was wrapping up its tenure in the Gospel of John during this time, and I have some sermon notes. Sunday service nearly became the only time I would look at a Bible.

Then, on 11 August 2021, I started a cross-country road trip of five days, arriving in Brooklyn, NY, on the 15th. Hit the ground running. Had to find a job ASAP. Was planning on attending NYU full-time, but that changed when I was offered a full-time teaching position at the High School for Global Citizenship in Crown Heights. NYU became a part-time venture, which is about all I could manage with the demands of public-school teaching in a new environment like this one. I thought about church. Do I even want to go? What will it be like to meet in person after all this time? I figured it could not hurt and attended at least one service at Every Nation Church NYC before settling at Bridge Church here in Brooklyn. Pastor James Roberson III et al. did the book of Romans. It is a good place, full of good people. Mostly young and single, like myself, though that does not make it any easier to meet people and make friends.

Now, being free of work and school for the summer vacation, I finally have time to sit and breathe. I do not know what to do. Should I start my days reading scripture and journaling like I used to? What would be the point? Why go back to this library of religious books after such a long hiatus? I have not had what one might call a “daily devotion” (Christianese—if you know, you know) since finishing Luke in October 2020. I fell off. But if what one means by “daily devotion” is just “me time with the Word,” I do not think this alone makes for a good imitation of Christ. And how much of it can I blame on the pandemic? I need a scapegoat. I need a reason to explain this spiritual dry spell. There is an app I found called “Literal Word.” It has a “Reader” mode which removes section headings, verse numbers, footnotes, &c. Uses the New American Standard Bible for its “word-for-word instead of a thought-for-thought translation method,” which “allows readers to make more interpretive decisions on their own.” I like the sound of that. The NASB is accurate but not readable.

A couple of Band-Aid sentences to avoid the problem. “Lullabies and alibis/ The book don’t end with Malachi.” Thanks, Chance. I should take a chance. “If someone wants to sell their soul for a bike light, they can have it.” An inside joke no one will understand but my brother. Forgive yourself, Matthew. Do not be so hard on your poor soul. You are not a punching bag. I struggle with that phrase, “forgive yourself.” I am one, not two, not three. “Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then I contradict myself,/ (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” If I could forgive myself, I would not need Jesus. Of course, it is a figure of speech. Do not be so literal, child. I understand the sentiment: “Release the guilt and punishment you feel you deserve for the mistake you made.” I only want better words. Sydney said something like, “You’re more multitudinous than you think.” Is she describing me in particular, or is this representative of a personal philosophy she has about all people?

I am going to try… no, there is no try. I am going to read the Gospel of Mark because it was written first and because I need to relearn how to make Jesus beautiful, both to myself and to the small number of people in my life. Evangelism without words. Immerse myself in the alleged truth and beauty of Christ so I might become more like him. And I want to read literarily. (Con cuidado, I said “literarily,” not “literally.”) I want to put on a lens and ask questions about the text that are not being asked in church. The Bible is a work of art and should be treated as such. Many church leaders and people I have met seem to read scripture as Plato would have, with a mimetic, “art imitates life” outlook. We think, like Plato, that if art does not teach morality and ethics, then it is of no substantial use. Nondidactic readings of scripture are antipulpitic.

In my post-secondary education, I have encountered very few (or no) scholars and university faculty who overtly read literature in search of some life lesson. None ask, “What is the moral of the story?” But preachers do it all the time. They might not use this language, but they will have three alliterative points so their childish, illiterate audiences can feel good about going into their weeks with a life application in their pocket. Slow down, sir. We can read, too. I know you can. It is just one reason why I am somewhat (read: absolutely) disillusioned about Sunday service. Treat me like an adult, please. I, for one, no longer need milk to drink—give us solid food! The Bible is not children’s literature, and I graduated from Sunday school long ago. Make me think hard to understand what you are saying. Make me work to understand your parables. Do my eyes see? Do my ears hear? Has it been granted to me to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven?

An alternative to Plato can be found in his student and colleague at the Academy in Athens, the man-myth-legend, also known as the Philosopher—give me an A-R-I-S-T-O-T-L-E! While still holding to a mimetic aesthetic, Aristotle departed from his teacher in some notable ways. What follows is my interpretation and understanding of Aristotelian philosophy regarding the production and criticism of artistic works. His esoteric treatise, Poetics, “takes as its topic the making of a work of art” (Richter 39). Aristotle nearly dismisses Plato’s idealism, trading it in for a realistic or literal discourse on what makes literature effective or ineffective. Poetry and drama are a means to an end. A poem is an object, a made thing, so we can focus on its form by asking questions about shape, materials, composition, and purpose. Much later, Aristotle experienced metempsychosis in the bodies of Russian Formalists, New Critics, and Neo-Aristotelians. While traditional formalism has been largely vanquished by postmodern criticism, some of its tenants more than linger in secondary education. Form follows function; all we need is “the text itself.” Though the dinosaurs are dead, we can thank them for their invention of “close reading” and for teaching us to use “concrete, specific examples from the text itself to validate our interpretations” (Tyson 117). Shklovsky, Brooks, and Booth were assassinated by Iser, Rosenblatt, Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Chomsky, Derrida, Foucault, Greenblatt, and most of the contemporary feminists, queer theorists, and critical race theorists. (It’s okay, they had it coming to them.)

What questions might a Neo-Aristotelian ask of a text? I am thinking, particularly, of R. S. Crane and his successor in the Chicago School of Literary Criticism, Wayne C. Booth. Though I would not consider myself a disciple of their theories, I appreciate their commitment to pluralism, which was one of their main disagreements with the New Critics. According to Richter, Booth’s 1970 lecture, “Pluralism and Its Rivals,” is “an affirmation of Crane’s vision of critical systems as a collection of instruments, or tools, each with areas of blindness and insight” (712). We who study and teach literature owe more than we would like to a man like Booth. He was born on 22 February 1921 in Utah to Mormon parents. He was a member of the LDS church throughout his life, yet he was committed to pluralism and engaged in a lifelong battle with religious dogma. He coined the phrases “implied author” and “unreliable narrator.”

Near the end of his life, Sunstone, a Mormon periodical, published an article of his titled “Confessions of an Aging, Hypocritical Ex-Missionary,” in which Booth details the progression of his spiritual journey from religious fundamentalist to metaphorical Mormon. Imagining a dialogue with his younger self, he asks, “Isn’t our real assignment, as we approach the new millennium, to discover what we share and then decide, probing our differences, just what can be cast aside?” Then, he mentions a phrase of his, “rhetorology,” by which he means “not rhetorical persuasion but rather a systematic, ecumenical probing of the essentials shared by rival rhetorics in any dispute—whether about religion or about other important matters.” His goal is to bring himself together, to unite his various past and present selves, along with members of the LDS community who might disagree with his (un)orthodoxy. A final quote: “There are obviously no scientific or strictly logical proofs for the importance of ecumenical, pluralistic probing. But I can find no good reasons to doubt its service to genuine religion.” Those phrases, “pluralistic probing” and “genuine religion,” appeal to me.

A pair of essays by Booth, both delivered as lectures to students at the University of Chicago: “How Not to Use Aristotle: The Poetics” (1963) and “How to Use Aristotle” (1968). The purpose of the first is “using the Poetics without abusing it” (105) to rebut the way scholars have reduced and misinterpreted the Philosopher and his text. I doubt you are interested. If you want to read it, see “Works Cited.” If not, here is the quote I was hoping to find: “The question that was constantly on Aristotle’s lips was, Why? What is the function? What is the purpose? The end, the final cause, is everything. All right, then. What we should do is ask of a literary work, Does it hit me hard?” (107). Aristotelian questions are all I wanted. Thank you, next.

Time and place: winter of 1968 at UChicago. Audience: college freshman taking “Liberal Arts I.” It was a turbulent time at this academy and in the culture. Radical leftist students and the right-wing bureaucratic establishment were at war. (What else is new?) Both factions failed to see their opponents as reasonable human beings, and Booth stands in the middle, attempting to bring these disparate communities together through the elevation of proper rhetoric. The situation is dangerously absurd. Let us learn to love a little irony. Earlier that year, sections of Chicago had been reduced to rubble in the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. From 23 to 28 August, major protests against the Vietnam War occurred during the Democratic National Convention. (Think Chicago Seven.) Then, on 13 November 1968, a professor of sociology at UChicago named Marlene Dixon crossed an invisible boundary by joining student protestors during the inauguration of a new university president. What penalty? The sociology department decided not to renew her appointment. Then, on 30 January 1969, over 400 students sat-in at the administration building and refused to budge for two weeks. They perceived Dixon’s removal to be an injustice: she was being punished for her openly Marxist and feminist politics. O! how the pendulum has swung! One would be hard-pressed today to find a liberal arts professor at a school like mine who does not at least have sympathy for Marxists and feminists.

In a world of “us versus them,” Booth strives for consensus. In the second lecture-essay, he gives a sort of follow-up to the warning he had delivered five years prior. Booth begins by considering a lecture by one “Mr. Denneny” on Søren Kierkegaard (I could not find the source or its container, my apologies), suggesting it is “radically dialectical in method” (118). Then, he puts this method into question, showing how those who view the world in terms of thesis and counter-thesis invariably tend to oversimplify lived experience. We who do this generate abstractions that disagree with “the concrete reality of persons, feelings, facts” (120). Furthermore, he condemns the foolishness of those who commit “what Sartre calls the greatest sin”: turning real people into abstractions (121). (Aside: herein lies the foolishness of “pro-choice” and “pro-life”; both sides turn their opponents into disembodied ideas rather the divine image-bearers.)

Instead of “being forced either to struggle on to find the right set [of polarities] or to become relativists” (122), Booth urges his listeners to become “‘existentialists’ at least in the sense of attempting to deal with the world’s problems quite literally for what they are” (123). He shifts his attention to Aristotle now that the problem has been constructed. How would Aristotle have read “Clay” from Joyce’s Dubliners? As it so happens, I read this story for my summer course at NYU. It is about a middle-aged unmarried woman named Maria who works at a laundry in Dublin. She is like a second mother to Joe Donnelly, whom she had cared for when he was a boy. Joe, who is now grown and married, invites Maria to their home for a Hallow Eve party. Two next-door girls put together some games for the group to play. One, a game of divination, sees each of its players blindfolded while they search for objects resting in saucers on a table. According to Terence Brown, who made the notes for my copy of Dubliners, the four objects used in this version of the game are as follows: “A prayer book which presages entry to a convent or monastery, the ring which promises marriage, water which assures continued life and clay which indicates death before too long” (280). Maria is led up to the table by the children and lays her hand upon one of the saucers, where she “felt a soft wet substance with her fingers and was surprised that nobody spoke or took off her bandage” (Joyce 101). Unknowingly, Maria picks the clay. Then, she realizes “it was wrong that time” (Joyce 101) and picks again, landing on the prayer book. So, instead of marriage, it is death or the convent. After the game, Maria sings I Dreamt that I Dwelt, an aria from Balfe’s opera The Bohemian Girl, and Joe is moved to tears over his friend’s suffering.

In his Aristotelian analysis of “Clay,” Booth suggests readers who read this way will “come to know it as something unique—even though it shares qualities with many other works” (125). Moreover, we will “come to know the works [we] love for what they are, and not what they can do as illustrations for your pet ideas or as evidence for your political party or church or for your lecture on Aristotle” (125). Finally, we will “know how it works, which is to know why its parts are as they are in relation to the effect of the whole” (125). Now, some questions Aristotle might ask of a text to judge the quality of the text as well or poorly made:

  1. What is its shape?
  2. What is its style?
  3. In what manner is it composed?
  4. For what effect is it made?
  5. Does the story achieve a certain standard of beauty?
  6. What makes it great (or not)?

Booth characterizes Aristotle as saying, “The poet is poet primarily through his imitative power, and he should intrude into his stories no more than is ‘necessary’” (127). (What would the Philosopher have said about autofiction? Would he have criticized authors who create autobiographical illusions by writing themselves into their own imagined realities?) Aristotelian questions are all I wanted. Here is an extended passage from Booth’s second essay. I retain it in full because I consider it “well-made” and worth a complete reading:

There are many questions that Aristotle’s approach will not answer: questions about the spirit of tragedy through the ages, questions about how to rise from despair to faith, questions about how to use art to attack your enemies, questions about which modes of art should be given to children at which ages to educate their souls—these and many others are either ignored by him or are treated briefly in other contexts. To anyone who does not care about what makes a great story great, what he says must seem boring and irrelevant. To anyone who prefers to dwell steadily on the level of abstract ideas, debating forever questions like whether the spirit of tragedy is dead in our time, or whether the novel is dead, or whether the new media have killed the message, his stuff will seem initially pedestrian and literal-minded. But, you know, there is no better cure for despair than rousing oneself and joining a great artist in his particular creative acts; there is no better proof of man’s nobility than seeing a bit of it really work in a great piece of art; there is no more satisfactory proof of the existence of the good, the true, and the beautiful, than experiencing their fusion in the unique, particular achievement of a story like “Clay.” (128-29)


A cure for despair is what initiated this whole essay. What are we doing? It is why I am here. I need to be lifted, to lift myself. I need to join great artists in their art.

Booth ends his lecture with an irony, probably on purpose. He wants his listeners to “use moderation in their choice of question,” to “solve solvable problems” rather than “juggle abstractions for purposes of warfare or evangelism,” and to focus on “the concrete things of this world” which can be “of immeasurable interest and reward” (129). Sounds nice. The literalist in me would love to lean into the beauty and greatness of texts. Unfortunately, Booth falls into his own trap by creating yet another dialectic, this time between abstraction and concretization. It is Plato versus Aristotle, redux. (I am being crudely reductionist.)

I imagine Booth saying, in his voice and mine, “We live in a credulous age; everyone is too ready to believe what they want to believe. Let us learn to become skeptics in the ancient sense. We need to investigate the text and suspend our judgment. Knowledge cannot be found. A life without belief is a life well lived. This world subsists on despair, but there is art, ripe and ready for eating.” Do not put words in my mouth. My tongue says what it says. I only want better words. Give me Plato on a ceramic plate and Aristotle, decanted from a crystalline carafe. Show me the idea of a woman, then show me who and what she really is. Wipe the paint off her face. I do not think I like where this is going. “The text itself” sounds too much like “Sola Scriptura,” one of the five Solae of reformed theology. Is the Bible the single “infallible” source of authority for my faith in Christ? I do not use these words—“infallible,” “inerrant,” or “inspired.” Instead, I would be inclined to suggest that the text we call “God’s word” is true and trustworthy. No farther. If I must play the part of an unreformed heretic, bite me.

Disintermediation: cut out the middleman. When I pick up a book, how much work takes place in the final construction of meaning? Is meaning-making the means or the ends of the process? In this process, who are the middlemen that can be cut out? “And if your eye is causing you to sin, throw it away” (NASB, Mark 9.47). The Greek word translated here as “throw” is ἔκβαλε (1544. ekballo, v.), which Strong indexes as “bring forth, cast forth, drive out, expel” and Thayer denotes as “with the included notion of more or less violence; to draw out with force, tear out.” The author of Matthew uses a different Greek verb: ἔξελε (1807. exaireó) in 5.29 (trans. “tear”) and 18.9 (trans. “pluck”).

Peter Barry defines narratology as “the study of how narratives make meaning” (214). It is a “branch of structuralism, but it has achieved a certain independence from its parent” (214). Of all the literary theories I have encountered, narratology remains my favorite, mainly because it can readily be adapted into lessons for the high school English classroom. We teach Freytag’s Plot Pyramid and Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey”—both are ways of thinking about stories en masse in an attempt to answer the age-old question: what do all narratives have in common? “All stories have events and characters,” I have told my students. It starts with exposition, then rising action, leading to a climax, and falling action, with a final resolution/conclusion/dénouement (however you like to call the ending of a story). It is as good a place as any to start one’s understanding of how texts behave when one forces them into a neat, little box. But of course! This is not the only way. One needs only to read Sorrentino’s Under the Shadow and Abish’s How German Is It in an undergraduate course on postmodern fiction and encounter novels that can hardly be called novels because they break all the “rules” one had in one’s mind about how a story should be told.

Aristotle cannot be said to have set rules for the making of a good Greek tragedy. No, his goal seems more to describe than prescribe. (Scratch all that; it is what I wish were true.) To the Philosopher, a well-constructed Tragedy is a whole thing made up of three parts: “beginning, middle, and end” (trans. Bywater 233). Qualitatively, Tragedies include “Spectacle, Character, Fable, Diction, Melody, and Thought” (231). Quantitatively, they have a “Prologue, Episode, Exode, and a choral portion, distinguished into Parode and Stasimon” (237). But I am less interested in these features and more in Aristotle’s slicing up of Plot, which is “the first essential, the life and soul, so to speak, of Tragedy” (232). Bywater translates Aristotle’s three elements of Plot as “Peripety,” “Discovery,” and “Suffering” (Ch. XI, 236-37). Peripety is περιπέτεια (peripeteia, n. fem.), meaning “turning right about, reversal of the normal order; esp. sudden change of condition or fortune” (LSJ). Discovery is ἀναγνώρισις (anagnorisis, n. fem.), meaning “recognition, as leading to the dénouement” (LSJ). Suffering is πάθος (pathos, n. neut.), meaning, well, a lot of things. Pathos is a chameleon word, ever-changing depending on its context. Strictly speaking, it is “that which happens to a person or thing” (LSJ). The complete sentence in question is as follows: “A third part is Suffering; which we may define as an action of a destructive or painful nature, such as murders on the stage, tortures, woundings, and the like” (237, emphasis added). In Rhetoric, Aristotle uses pathos like this: “Persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions” (trans. Roberts 25, emphasis added). Here, pathos is the compatriot of ethos and logos; the three form a trimodal pyramid of persuasion. The goal of the rhetor utilizing pathos is to excite passion in their listener so as to convince them to “wake up and feel the world,” as it were.

To clarify the connection between the seemingly disparate connotations of pathos, we may consider a keyword found in Aristotle’s definition of Tragedy:

A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions. (230)


You have heard it before: “Music is cathartic for me; it helps me release my emotions.” Sure, but that is not what Aristotle means. No, it is so much more hardcore. Broadly, κάθαρσις (katharsis, n. fem.) is “cleansing from guilt or defilement, purification” (LSJ). Aristotle appears to mean it in more of a medical sense, as in “clearing off of morbid humours, etc., evacuation, whether natural or by the use of medicines” (LSJ). (“Humours” refers to the body’s four main fluids: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Thank you, germ theory, for replacing this absolute nonsense. Did those ancient and medieval physicians have any idea what they were doing?) Perhaps this will make sense: katharsis is the body’s natural reaction to seeing pathos (suffering or calamity) on a stage; a good Tragedy induces pity and fear in the subject, who then purges these strong emotions from their body as metaphorical solids and fluids. Gross. How can I not make this sound like defecation?

We are nearing the end. Aristotle also describes his ideal tragic hero as an “intermediate kind of personage, a man not preeminently virtuous and just, whose misfortune, however, is brought upon him not by vice and depravity but by some error of judgement” (238, emphasis added). This “error” is sometimes translated instead as “flaw”; it is the Greek word ἁμαρτία (hamartia, n. fem.), meaning “a failure, fault” (LSJ). In scripture, we have similar terms, which I will present in their verb forms. The first is Hebrew: חָטָא (2398. chata), which means “to miss, go wrong, sin” (Strong). The second is Greek: ἁμαρτάνω (264. hamartanó), which means, similarly, “to miss the mark, do wrong, sin” (Strong). (Notably, Homer and Aeschylus use hamartia to describe an archer missing their target.) In relation to the study of narrative, these words are helpful in a dialogue about poetic justice. Virtue is rewarded, and vice is punished. The characters get what they deserve. (I am running out of steam, so I will put a pin in this for future study: Is hamartia a “flaw” or “error”? Does it occur in the intellectual thought life of a character, or is it more of a moral failing in the soul of a character? What space do hamartia and hubris share?)

The fuel tank is on “E” and petrol is damn expensive these days. I have my questions; I have what I came here for. The problem, now: can I read Mark with an Aristotelian lens? Of course, the gospels do not appear to operate like Greek tragedies. (Or do they?) For one thing, if Christ is the tragic hero of the story, then he is one supposedly without hamartia and hubris. That said, there are plenty of examples of recognition, reversal, and suffering. Furthermore, one can consider the artistry of Jesus’s miracles and parables. Does the author tell a great story? Can we join him in his particular creative act and be pulled out of despair and into faith?

Allow me to speak precisely. I find delight and pleasure in your presence. I desire you. I am blind, yet I have insight. In Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus poses a riddle to his students: “The cock crew,/ The sky was blue:/ The bells in heaven/ Were striking eleven./ ‘Tis time for this poor soul/ To go to heaven” (Joyce 80). His answer: “The fox burying his grandmother under a hollybush” (Joyce 80). A joke at the expense of riddles. Unanswerable unless the answer is already known. “What have I got in my pocket?” Hands? Knife? String, or nothing? You cheated, Bilbo. So did you, Stephen. And you got what you deserve. What do I deserve? Death and life and life and death. I want to live alone forever. I do not want to live alone forever. Show me the idea of a woman, then show me who and what she really is. Wipe the paint off her face.

Plaster bust of Aristotle (portrait bust; plaster cast) by Watt, James is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0


Works Cited

Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by Ingram Bywater in The Rhetoric and the Poetics of Aristotle, 1st ed., The Modern Library, 1984.

Aristotle. Rhetoric. Translated by W. Rhys Roberts in The Rhetoric and the Poetics of Aristotle, 1st ed., The Modern Library, 1984.

Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 3rd ed., Manchester University Press, 2009.

Booth, Wayne C. Now Don’t Try to Reason with Me: Essays and Ironies for a Credulous Age. The University of Chicago Press, 1970. www.archive.org/details/nowdonttrytoreas00boot/mode/1up.

——— “Confessions of an Aging, Hypocritical Ex-Missionary.” Sunstone, March-April 1998, Vol. 21:1, Issue 109, p. 25-36, www.lds-mormon.com/booth-shtml.

Joyce, James. Dubliners. Introduction and Notes by Terrance Brown, Penguin Books, 1993.

——— Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler. Vintage Books, 1986.

Liddell, Henry George; Robert Scott; Henry Stuart Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon. Also known as the “LSJ.” Perseus Digital Library, www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph.

New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation, 2020. Bible Gateway, www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-American-Standard-Bible-NASB.

Richter, David. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. 2nd ed., Bedford Books, 1998.

Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Bible Hub, www.biblehub.com/strongs/greek/1544.htm.

Thayer, Joseph Henry. Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon. Bible Hub, www.biblehub.com/thayers/1544.htm.

Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.


One thought on “38. Despair to Faith

  1. Dad July 21, 2022 / 8:54 pm

    Well done
    Seems to me Aristotle’s Q #4 gets at the heart … purpose! Thanks for writing Matthew… solid thoughts and keeps me engaged… and I get bored easily as you know . Love ya and proud of you for engaging texts with an open and curious mind

    Liked by 1 person

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