Laughter at the Foot of the Cross

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9780713990126: Laughter at the Foot of the Cross
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This book examines changing Christian attitudes to laughter and their deep influence on literary practice. Rabelais often comically distorted the words of Jesus, making us laugh at his grotesque character, the gluttonous Gargantua, whilst Erasmus adopted the satirical style of Lucian (a Greek author openly contemptuous of Christianity) to poke fun at clerical abuses. Screech, a master scholar, brilliantly illuminates both the background to their works and their extraordinary individual achievements.

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Review:

"Lavishly erudite, digressive. . . . Screech commands the intellectual and literary history of the sixteenth century. . . . The finished book is a provocative, wide-ranging work of cultural history."--Anthony Grafton "Times Literary Supplement "

"Laughter can be innocent. . . . But suppose there is an exultation over the foe, can this be Christian? Psalm II suggests it can. For after describing the rage of the heathen and their plots against God's anointed, it says: 'He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn: The Lord shall have them in derision.' What gives "Laughter at the Foot of the Cross" its sinew and muscle is the way Screech takes this mocking triumph with the utmost seriousness. . . . Apart from numerous fresh insights along the way and the scholarly erudition, the great importance of this book is a paradoxical one. It is a book about laughter but it forces us to face the reality of evil."--Rt Revd Lord Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford "Times Higher Education "

"A splendid and exciting book, and a learned one. It takes the maxim that man is a laughing animal and enlarges it to encompass the concept that Christianity is a religion centred on laughter. . . . "Laughter at the Foot of the Cross" is a book that is historical in its thrust, philological at every step in its argument, and vigorously celebratory of the achievement of Erasmus and Rabelais both for their own times and for our own."--R. J. Shoeck "Journal of Ecclesiastical History "

Lavishly erudite, digressive. . . . Screech commands the intellectual and literary history of the sixteenth century. . . . The finished book is a provocative, wide-ranging work of cultural history. --Anthony Grafton "Times Literary Supplement ""

Laughter can be innocent. . . . But suppose there is an exultation over the foe, can this be Christian? Psalm II suggests it can. For after describing the rage of the heathen and their plots against God s anointed, it says: He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn: The Lord shall have them in derision. What gives "Laughter at the Foot of the Cross" its sinew and muscle is the way Screech takes this mocking triumph with the utmost seriousness. . . . Apart from numerous fresh insights along the way and the scholarly erudition, the great importance of this book is a paradoxical one. It is a book about laughter but it forces us to face the reality of evil. --Rt Revd Lord Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford "Times Higher Education ""

A splendid and exciting book, and a learned one. It takes the maxim that man is a laughing animal and enlarges it to encompass the concept that Christianity is a religion centred on laughter. . . . "Laughter at the Foot of the Cross" is a book that is historical in its thrust, philological at every step in its argument, and vigorously celebratory of the achievement of Erasmus and Rabelais both for their own times and for our own. --R. J. Shoeck "Journal of Ecclesiastical History ""

About the Author:

MICHAEL SCREECH is an Extraordinary Fellow of Wolfson College and an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Fellow of University College London. He is a Renaissance scholar of international renown, and he has edited, translated and written extensively for Penguin.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780226245119: Laughter at the Foot of the Cross

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 022624511X ISBN 13: 9780226245119
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 2015
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9780813337395: Laughter At The Foot Of The Cross

Routledge, 1999
Hardcover

9780140124903: Laughter at the Foot of the Cross

Penguin, 1999
Softcover

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