Fire in the Dark: Essays on Pascal's Pensées and Provinciales

Overview

Pascal's Pens?es afford a deeply penetrating view of the human condition (or predicament) as a prelude to a luminously reasoned defense of the Christian faith. His Provincial Letters are best remembered as a wickedly funny satire of "obliging and accommodating" Jesuit moral theologians who, guided by policy rather than piety, are willing to put virtue and salvation within the easy reach of all but the diabolical. Both works are landmarks of French prose that have fascinated readers of all sorts from his day to ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $67.62   
  • New (2) from $67.60   
  • Used (1) from $79.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Pascal's Pensées afford a deeply penetrating view of the human condition (or predicament) as a prelude to a luminously reasoned defense of the Christian faith. His Provincial Letters are best remembered as a wickedly funny satire of "obliging and accommodating" Jesuit moral theologians who, guided by policy rather than piety, are willing to put virtue and salvation within the easy reach of all but the diabolical. Both works are landmarks of French prose that have fascinated readers of all sorts from his day to ours. The eight essays in Fire in the Dark, two of which are new and four of which first appeared in French, frame and probe Pascal's underlying contention that the darkling, "hidden" God of Christian revelation, though Himself a profound mystery, especially in the matter of his justice towards fallen mankind, can nonetheless be used to demystify questions that matter most to us. But can the Supremely Obscure, like a dark lantern that is supremely dark, really illumine our whence, whither, and what now -- our nature, destiny and duties? "Watchman, what of the night?" The answers Pascal offers to Isaiah's query, whether they finally shed light on our world's chiaroscuro or not, can at least claim the authority of coming from out of the dark. Charles Natoli is a member of the Department of Philosophy and Classical Studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. He is also the author of Nietzsche and Pascal on Christianity (1985).
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Perfectly at home in the literary, theological, and philosophical fields that inform seventeenth-century France, Charles Natoli discusses Pascal's difficult and fascinating writings with great clarity and insight, and with the justesse these writings deserve. The essays are witty and enjoyable to read. Original in their discussion of Pascal's methods and of their potential limits, these essays too ask the reader to be mindful of Pascal's depth and value for our 21st century world. --John A. Gallucci, Colgate University. In this careful and learned study, Natoli burrows into a key tension of our time: the mystery of faith and how one proves the grounds for that faith. --Sara Melzer, UCLA, author of Discourses of the Fall: A Study of Pascal's Pensées In this remarkable analysis of Pascal's theodicy and the difficulties it presents to modern readers, Natoli joins theological, philosophical, and literary approaches to the Pensées and Provincial Letters. --David Wetsel, Arizona State University, author of Pascal and Disbelief. The seriousness with which Charles Natoli poses, investigates, and most probably lives the question of the justice of the hidden and judging God makes this book at once at excellent example of scholarship and of philosophy. . . In this book what was once known as the Republic of Letters survives. . . --Michael Platt, REVIEW OF METAPHYSICS, 2006
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580461870
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/15/2005
  • Series: Rochester Studies in Philosophy, #8
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Department of Philosophy at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Fire in the dark 3
2 The Provinciales : ruse against ruse, force against force? 27
3 Preferring to live in a tree-trunk : the Provinciales as Heauton timoroumenos 41
4 Revelation/revolution : a reflection on newness in the Provinciales 54
5 Proof in the Pensees : reason as rhetoric, rhetoric as reason 69
6 The fundamental role of justice in Pascal's apologetics : the hidden God 96
7 Mystic/anti-mystic : on speech and silence in Pascal's memorial 109
8 "Watchman, what of the night?" 125
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)