The New York Times Book Review

Saturday, May 14, 2005

There is so much food for thought in this week’s Book Review (May 15, 2005) that I hardly know where to start (and it arrived on Friday, too, for the first time–surely a signal of greater seriousness, since it gives the reader a whole weekend to digest it). The cover review of Hilary Mantel’s new novel, Beyond Black, by Terrence Rafferty, concludes this way: “This is, I think, a great comic novel. Hilary Mantel’s humor, like Flannery O’Connor’s, is so far beyond black it becomes a kind of light.”

And the week’s essay on the last page, “Church Meets State,” by Mark Lilla, offers a really incisive (though necessarily brief) analysis of the breakdown of “liberal” theology in America and what that might mean for those of us who care for the church not only as a critique of government but also as a transfiguring influence on government.

Check it out for free (if you hurry) at

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