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The Crisis of Religious Symbolism

The Crisis of Religious Symbolism

and Symbolism & Reality

By Jean Borella

Translated by G. John Champoux

456 pp

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About the Book

Combined here in one volume are two books, The Crisis of Religious Symbolism and Symbolism and Reality. Although published seven years apart, these two works are integral to one another. Symbolism and Reality represents a kind of sabbath rest—its subtitle says “reflection”—after the mighty works of The Crisis of Religious Symbolism, where the deep structures of three hundred years of Western philosophical and cultural development are brought to the surface, analyzed, and made meaningful in the light of what Jean Borella has termed “the metaphysics of the symbol.” Together, these two books represent a cleansing and restoration of a Christian vision of the world. Through Jean Borella’s witness to the death and resurrection of religious symbolism presented here, we are given entrance to a world renewed in Christ.

Equipped with intimate and sympathetic knowledge of each writer, Joseph Nicolello deftly weaves a dialogue between the French philosopher and the American storyteller, in which first he, then she, takes the guiding role, exploring grand themes of “mystery and manners,” the interdependencies of doing, making, thinking, and feeling, theological poetics and connatural knowledge, the requisites and rewards of literary culture—all the while taking sniper-like shots at modern idols and idiocies. The “Gloss and Primer” in advance of the dialogue presents us with a vision of how the art of fiction, and particularly Catholic fiction, can regain its bearings and its inspiration.


“Borella’s writing shines with wayside jewels of intuition, as well as proceeding with a rich vein of theological reasoning.”


About the Author

French religious philosopher JEAN BORELLA (b. 1930) taught metaphysics and the history of ancient and medieval philosophy at the University of Nancy until 1995. His aim has always been to blend the concerns of philosophy with those of the Christian faith, its dogmas, as well as its symbolic expressions. Among his other books in English translation are The Crisis of Religious Symbolism and Christ the Original Mystery, both available from Angelico Press.

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