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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Imperfection

“... aspirations to perfection awaken us to our actual imperfection.” It is in the space between these aspirations and our inability to achieve them that Grant reflects upon imperfection. Grant argues that an awareness of imperfection, defined as both suffering and the need for justice, drive us to an unrelenting search for perfection, freedom, and self-determination. The twenty-one brief chapters of Imperfection develop this governing idea as it relates to the present situation of the God debate, modern ethnic conflicts, and the pursuit of freedom in relation to the uncertainties of personal identity and the quest for self-determination.

Table of Contents

Contents

preface xi

introduction 1

part iImperfection

1 Plato and the Limits of Idealism 9

2 The Van Gogh Letters: The Art of the Unfinished 17

3 The Trouble with Visions 31            

4 Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Regressive Inversion 41

5 Osama, Theo, and the Burnt Fool’s Bandaged Finger 49

6 What the Buddha Didn’t Say 57

7 Not So Good News: The Gospel According to Mark 67

part iiSelf

8 Immortal Souls and State Executions 79

9 The Eyes Have It: Seeing One’s Self and Others 89

10 The God of Battles and the Irish Dimension of Shakespeare’s Henry V 99

11 Crucifying Harry: Victims, Scapegoats, and the Northern Ireland Troubles 107

12 Talking to the Cyclops: On Violence and Self-Destruction 115

13 Doing Nothing About It: Taoism, Selflessness, and Non-Action 121

14 Cliff Jumpers and Delta Dwellers: On Religious Language and Commitment 133

part iiiFreedom

15 Dr. Johnson, Freedom, and the Book of Psalms 145

16 Sex, Society, and Romeo and Juliet 155

17 Cartoons from Denmark and the March of the Zombies 165

18 Vergil and the Almighty Dollar 173

19 Endgame in Sri Lanka: Dharmapala’s Legacy and Rajapaksa’s War 183

20 Jung and The Secret of the Golden Flower 195

21 Kieslowski’s Red: Fraternity in the Making 205

bibliographical notes 225

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