"With acute sensitivity and painstaking attention to literary detail, the author shows how Christian wisdom is hugely enriched by three major word-crafters. Far from muddying the waters of theological rigor, 'poetic performance' renders theology more precise, lucid, and faithful. An immensely important book, demonstrating just how badly the theologian needs the artist today."
Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford Research Professor of Theology, Duke University
"David Mahan is a superb close reader of poetry and also a rich theological thinker. This book shows how poetry and theology can come together to light up the great questions of human life today. Above all, his profound engagement with three fascinating poets – O'Siadhail, Williams, and Hill – will expand the circle of those who recognize their great significance for the twenty-first century"
David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
"David Mahan sheds 'unexpected light' on poetry as a Christian discourse. He does this by deftly elucidating common intellectual ground shared by poets and theologians. Where he shines, however, is in showing how a poem means, how ideas actually become incarnate in texts. Mahan offers beautifully lucid analysis of demanding poets who, in his sure hands, become accessible, though never merely easy. He challenges us to see their work as not only speaking to our particular historical condition but, in quirky and reticent ways, as evangelizing our imaginations."
Peter Hawkins, Professor of Religion and Director of Luce Program in Scripture and the Literary Arts, Boston University
"An Unexpected Light comes highly commended by prominent scholars in the literature and theology field. ... we have cause to celebrate the remarkable explicatory gifts on display here, and to thank the author for inspiring us to discover or to appreciate anew three poets of rare significance."
Robert Rhys, in The Glass, No 23
"Mahan's aim to persuade Christians of the contribution contemporary imaginative writing can make to theological discourse is an entirely laudable one."
Jonathan Herapath, in Theology, Vol 114, No 2