PREACHING THE POETRY OF THE GOSPELS by Elizabeth Michael Boyle, OP ($21.95)*

LP: 0-8146-2891-5

Can an understanding of the poetics of the Gospels, together with a reading of poetry inspired by them, make the homily an art form as compelling as a poetry performance? In Preaching the Poetry of the Gospels, Elizabeth Michael Boyle, O.P., offers a preaching guide to the Sunday Lectionary using the insights of poets to enliven and elicit more powerful homilies.

Preaching the Poetry of the Gospels demonstrates that not only the Fourth Gospel but also the Synoptics can be read with special understanding when they are interpreted as narrative poetry. For the Sundays of Advent, Holy Family, Epiphany, Lent and Easter, as well as the special days of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas Eve and Day, Ash Wednesday, the Triduum, the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the author offers a poet’s reflection on the literary devices in the liturgical texts, and a gathering of poems about the gospel event.

Chapters are “Incarnation: Advent to Epiphany,” “Redemption: Ash Wednesday through Holy Week,” “Resurrection: The Sundays of Easter,” “From Ascension through the Holy Body and Blood of Christ,” and “Reclaiming the Poetry of Ordinary Time.”

Elizabeth Michael Boyle, O.P., Ph.D., is professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Caldwell College, Caldwell, New Jersey. She is also a poet and a playwright with a special interest in the psychological dimensions of creativity.

"Preaching the Poetry of the Gospels is a unique resource for preachers and all who pray the Christian Scriptures. In the great preaching tradition of her order, Domincan Sister Elizabeth Michael Boyle opens the Gospels for us, but her special contribution is to do so through the poetic imagination: her own and that of other modern poets. Following the Lectionary for the major seasons of the church year, she first lets the Gospel speak through her own lyric reflections, then prints two or three poems as ‘response’ to the Gospel. Poetry—with its play of rhythm and rhyme, image and symbol, becomes in Boyle’s hands not only our vehicle for engaging the Gospels anew but also, she convinces us, a key element of the Gospels’ own power. Preaching the Poetry of the Gospels is solidly grounded in contemporary theology and Scripture study, yet eschews their technical vocabulary; rich in insight for the scholar or preacher, Boyle’s language remains wholly accessible to the general reader."
- Peggy Rosenthal, Author of The Poets’ Jesus and Praying the Gospels Through Poetry

"Splendid in style, creative in form, and aesthetically delightful, this volume by Elizabeth Michael Boyle is the first of its kind. Through poetry and story she imaginatively brings to life the Gospel message in ways that strike at the heart, leaving us surprised, awe-struck, and sunk in the wondrous presence of an alluring God. The genius of the works rests in her lived experiences of the Word embodied in her preaching and artistic expression. Her giftedness as a writer par excellence invites us to be caught up in the passionate poetics of life so that we may come to experience what poets, prophets, and mystics know so well—the unfolding beauty and goodness of the Divine in the midst of all."
- Carol J. Dempsey, O.P., Associate Professor of Theology, University of Portland

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