In chapters on Auden's relationship to Hardy and Kierkegaard, the study shows how, after lovingly apprenticing himself to their work and often borrowing stylistic or thematic features from it - Hardy's sweeping "hawk's vision," Kierkegaard's urgent "leap of faith" - he began to criticize the very things he had previously striven to emulate. In a chapter on Auden's elegies, the author argues that, alone among examples of this poetic genre, they both reverently mourn and harshly scrutinize their subjects (Yeats, Freud, Henry James and others).
In a chapter on "structural allusion" in Auden's early poetry, the study posits that Auden singlehandedly invented a new kind of allusion in which he alludes to the form and subject matter of entire poems. But while doing so, he also finds fault with the attitudes (passivity, despair) depicted in them. In these structurally allusive poems - as with his relationship to Hardy, Kierkegaard and his elegies' subjects - Auden's sometimes accepting, sometimes skeptical attitude toward his poetic models is on powerful display, and finds a perfect counterpart in the tension between imitative form and critical content.
Morrill also marshals the work of many scholars concerning the concept of anamnesis which has proven crucial to the progress of ecumenical dialogues on Church order and the Eucharist. The effort is to understand how the Church's liturgical commemoration of God's salvific deeds in history, especially in Jesus, allows for neither a timeless form of religious piety nor a ritualism detached from the commerce of life in the world. A concluding investigation of the relationship between anamnesis and eschatology leads to further considerations about the dialectical character of the praxis of faith. Anamnesis as Dangerous Memory, while written in the field of systematic theology, offers a fresh perspective and framing of the issues for readers of Christian ethics and moral theology.
Chapters are "The Promise and Challenges in the Renewal of the Eucharistic Liturgy," "Johann Baptist Metz's Political Theology of the Subject," "Alexander Schmemann's Liturgical Theology: Joyous, Thankful Remembrance of the Kingdom of God," "Christian Memory: Anamnesis of Christ Jesus," and "Conclusion."
Bruce T. Morrill, SJ, holds the Edward A. Maloy Chair of Catholic Studies in the divinity school at Vanderbilt University where he is also Professor of Theological Studies. In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, he has published several books, most recently Encountering Christ in the Eucharist: The Paschal Mystery in People, Word, and Sacrament (Paulist Press, 2012). His most recent book with liturgical Press is Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death Pueblo/Liturgical Press, 2009)."