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Synopsis

This is the first comprehensive study of the theological significance of Paul Claudel, a poet frequently cited by literary-minded theologians in Europe and theologically-minded poets (such as von Balthasar, de Lubac and Eliot). His writing combines cosmology and history, Bible and metaphysics, liturgy and the drama of human personality. His work, which continues to arouse discussion in France, was acclaimed in his lifetime as the 'summa poetica' of a new Dante. Aidan Nichols' study demonstrates how Claudel's oeuvre, which is not only poetry but theatre and prose including biblical commentaries, constitutes a rich resource for constructive doctrine, liturgical preaching, and theological reflection. As the comparable example of Geoffrey Hill, Professor of Poetry at Oxford suggests, Aidan Nichols illuminates how Claudel's synthesis of many dimensions remains an important way of practising poetry in the Christian tradition today.

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