In this collection of essays, The Grace of Incorruption, scholar, convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, theologian and man of prayer, Donald Sheehan interweaves themes from his own pilgrimages and the literary masterpieces of authors through the ages to illuminate God's grace in the midst of the mess of life.
From the pastor, to the scholar, to the lay person, this beautiful work of prose invites readers to converse with saints, theologians, philosphers, novelists, and the psalms to discover what Sheehan means by "the grace of incorruption."
Professor of literature, scholar, teacher of poets and poetry, convert to the Eastern Orthodox Church, man of prayer, Donald Sheehan wrote these wide-ranging essays with a common commitment to understanding the ways in which the ruining oppositions of our experience can be held within the disciplines of lyric artheld "until God Himself can be seen in the ruins . . . and overwhelmingly and gratefully loved." That is what Sheehan means by "the grace of incorruption." Part One weaves together themes from Sheehans life and pilgrimages; the spiritual art of Orthodox Saints Gregory of Nyssa, Isaac and Ephraim of Syria, Sergius of Radonezh, Herman of Alaska; the literary art of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Frost, Salinger, and contemporary poets Jane Kenyon, Sydney Lea, and Nicholas Samaras; the philosophy of René Girardexamining the nature of penitence, prayer, personhood, freedom, depression, and the right relationship to the earth. Part Two delves into the poetics of Psalms, especially LXX 118: a "poetics of resurrection," a poetics that came to govern the lifework of an extraordinary man, blessed with faith, learning, and humility.
Donald Sheehan received a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He began his teaching career at the University of Chicago in 1967 and concluded it at Dartmouth, from which he retired in 2004. From 1978 to 2005 he served as Executive Director of The Frost Place in Franconia, NH, where he created internationally acclaimed writing programs and inspired many contemporary poets. Received into the Orthodox Church in 1984, he was ordained a subdeacon and turned much of his attention to praying, teaching, and writing about Psalms, until his repose on May 26, 2010.