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Adventure, Mystery, and Romance
Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture
John G. Cawelti
University of Chicago Press, 1976
In this first general theory for the analysis of popular literary formulas, John G. Cawelti reveals the artistry that underlies the best in formulaic literature. Cawelti discusses such seemingly diverse works as Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors, and Owen Wister's The Virginian in the light of his hypotheses about the cultural function of formula literature. He describes the most important artistic characteristics of popular formula stories and the differences between this literature and that commonly labeled "high" or "serious" literature. He also defines the archetypal patterns of adventure, mystery, romance, melodrama, and fantasy, and offers a tentative account of their basis in human psychology.

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Along the Journey River
A Mystery
Carole laFavor
University of Minnesota Press, 2017

Several sacred artifacts have gone missing from the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation and the suspect list is continuously growing. While it could be the racists from the bordering town, or a young man struggling with problems at home, or the county coroner and his cronies, the need for answers and apprehending the culprit is amplified when Jed Morriseau, the Tribal Chairman, is murdered. Investigating these mysterious occurrences because of tribal traditions and the honor of her family, Renee LaRoche works to track down the people responsible. But can she maintain her intense investigation as well as her new relationship with Samantha Salisbury, the visiting women’s studies professor at the white college nearby? Renee is caught between the traditions of her tribe and efforts to help her chimook lover accept their cultural differences. 


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American Public Philosophy and the Mystery of Lincolnism
Eric C. Sands
University of Missouri Press, 2009
Although he is revered as one of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln seems to lack the legacy of others like Jefferson or Jackson who brought about new conceptions of American political life. In this study of Lincoln’s political thought, Eric Sands blends political science, history, and political theory to offer a fresh perspective on Lincoln, his thought, and the politics of Reconstruction.
In this new consideration of Lincoln’s “public philosophy”—the nation’s understanding of itself—Sands seeks to determine why the spirit that successfully led the Union through the Civil War was unable to sustain itself during Reconstruction. He defines Lincolnism as a rededication to the principle of natural rights, a narrative of Divine Providence, a sentiment of brotherhood, and an augmentation of founding principles. He then explains how Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson’s succession, and developments in philosophy and science worked to undermine this philosophy after the war.
Sands investigates why the Republican Party was unable to sustain Lincoln’s ideas and why neither Republicans nor Democrats were able to formulate a compelling substitute public philosophy for Lincolnism. He describes how Radical Republicans and Purist Democrats battled for control over America’s public philosophy, then how Moderate Republicans and Legitimist Democrats abandoned battles over first principles completely. By the end of Reconstruction, public philosophy politics were rejected altogether, ultimately frustrating efforts to move the nation toward the realization of full equality under the law.
By reflecting on public policy formation and change, Sands evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of public philosophy politics and shows that the most inspiring and noble kind of politics, even if oriented toward moral principles, can also be dangerous and divisive. His work lends new insight into the role of ideas in politics and offers readers a new understanding of the consequences of Lincoln’s actions and the death of Reconstruction policies—and of why no concept of a “Lincolnian democracy” survived during the Reconstruction era.

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Anatomy of Murder
Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction
Carl D. Malmgren
University of Wisconsin Press, 2001
Anatomy of Murder identifies and explores three basic fictional forms dealing with murder and detection—mystery, detective, and crime fiction. Mystery fiction takes place in a centered world, one whose most distinctive characteristic is motivation. Covering the forms of murder fiction, the book examines texts by Doyle, Christie, Sayers, Hammett, Chandler, Highsmith, Jim Thompson, Thomas Harris, and others.

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And Then There Were Nine. . .
More Women of Mystery
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985
Within the formulas of crime fiction, this collection ranges from writers Daphne du Maurier and Margery Allingham, whose names are synonymous with conventional subgenres of crime fiction, through Patricia Highsmith, and Shirley Jackson, who deliberately set conventions aside or who moved those conventions into other realms. Most important, perhaps, Jackson, Highsmith and E. X. Ferrars depict civilizations that are not essentially orderly, that are not founded upon a commonly understood concept of justice--where one must make her own order.

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A World of Science and Mystery
M. Brock Fenton and Nancy B. Simmons
University of Chicago Press, 2015
There are more than 1,300 species of bats—or almost a quarter of the world’s mammal species. But before you shrink in fear from these furry “creatures of the night,” consider the bat’s fundamental role in our ecosystem. A single brown bat can eat several thousand insects in a night. Bats also pollinate and disperse the seeds for many of the plants we love, from bananas to mangoes and figs.
Bats: A World of Science and Mystery presents these fascinating nocturnal creatures in a new light. Lush, full-color photographs portray bats in flight, feeding, and mating in views that show them in exceptional detail. The photos also take the reader into the roosts of bats, from caves and mines to the tents some bats build out of leaves. A comprehensive guide to what scientists know about the world of bats, the book begins with a look at bats’ origins and evolution. The book goes on to address a host of questions related to flight, diet, habitat, reproduction, and social structure: Why do some bats live alone and others in large colonies? When do bats reproduce and care for their young? How has the ability to fly—unique among mammals—influenced bats’ mating behavior? A chapter on biosonar, or echolocation, takes readers through the system of high-pitched calls bats emit to navigate and catch prey. More than half of the world’s bat species are either in decline or already considered endangered, and the book concludes with suggestions for what we can do to protect these species for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

From the tiny “bumblebee bat”—the world’s smallest mammal—to the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, whose wingspan exceeds five feet, A Battery of Bats presents a panoramic view of one of the world’s most fascinating yet least-understood species.

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Between the Lines
The Mystery of the Giant Ground Drawings of Ancient Nasca, Peru
By Anthony F. Aveni
University of Texas Press, 2000

The Nasca Lines are one of the world's great enigmas. Who etched the more than 1,000 animal, human, and geometric figures that cover 400 square miles of barren pampa in southern Peru? How did the makers create lifelike images of monkeys, birds, and spiders without an aerial vantage point from which to view these giant figures that stretch across thousands of square yards? Most puzzling of all, why did the ancient Nasca lay out these lines and images in the desert? These are the questions that pioneering archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni seeks to answer in this book.

Writing for a wide public audience, Aveni begins by establishing the Nasca Lines as a true wonder of the ancient world. He describes how viewers across the centuries have tried to interpret the lines and debunks the wilder theories. Then he vividly recounts his own years of exploration at Nasca in collaboration with other investigators and the discoveries that have answered many of the riddles about who made the Nasca Lines, when, and for what purposes. This fascinating overview of what the leading expert and his colleagues currently understand about the lines is required reading for everyone intrigued by ancient mysteries.


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The Body in Mystery
The Political Theology of the Corpus Mysticum in the Literature of Reformation England
Jennifer R. Rust
Northwestern University Press, 2013
In The Body in Mystery, Jennifer R. Rust engages the political concept of the mystical body of the commonwealth, the corpus mysticum of the medieval church. Rust argues that the communitarian ideal of sacramental sociality had a far longer afterlife than has been previously assumed. Reviving a critical discussion of the German historian Ernst Kantorowicz’s 1957 masterwork, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, Rust brings to bear the latest scholarship. Her book expands the representation of the corpus mysticum through a range of literary genres as well as religious polemics and political discourses. Rust reclaims the concept as an essential category of social value and historical understanding for the imaginative life of literature from Reformation England. The Body in Mystery provides new ways of appreciating the always rich and sometimes difficult continuities between the secular and sacred in early modern England, and between the premodern and early modern periods.

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Death's Door
True Tales of Tragedy, Mystery, and Bravery from the Great Lakes' Most Dangerous Waters
Barbara Joosse
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2023
True maritime stories told in graphic-novel style 

This beautifully illustrated book for children ages 8–11 relates dramatic moments from Great Lakes maritime history in a graphic-novel style. The book’s five true stories span four centuries but take place in one location: a dangerous stretch of water near Lake Michigan’s western shore that is known as “Death’s Door.” 

Young readers will devour these tales of tragic accidents, mysterious disappearances, and heroic moments. The stories feature a 17th-century fur trading crew, an 18th-century Potawatomi trading party, a mail carrier and a shipbuilding family from the 19th century, and an early 20th-century basketball team. The narrator is Death’s Door itself, who wonders why people insist on crossing its treacherous waters, concluding it is “because they are human. Ambitious and restless…but loving too.” 

An informative afterword provides insight into the author’s sources and features archival images and additional historical details about each of the stories.

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The Disappearances
A Story of Exploration, Murder, and Mystery in the American West
Scott Thybony
University of Utah Press, 2016
In 1935, during the wind-swept years of the Dust Bowl, three people went missing on separate occasions in the rugged canyon country of southeastern Utah, a place “wild, desolate, mysterious.” A thirteen-year old girl, Lucy Garrett, was tricked into heading west with the man who had murdered her father under the pretense of reuniting with him. At the same time, a search was underway for Dan Thrapp, a young scientist on leave from the American Museum of Natural History. Others were scouring the same region for an artist, Everett Ruess, who had disappeared into “the perfect labyrinth.” 

Intrigued by this unusual string of coincidental disappearances, Scott Thybony set out to learn what happened. His investigations took him from Island in the Sky to Skeleton Mesa, from Texas to Tucson, and from the Green River to the Red. He traced the journey of Lucy Garrett from the murder of her father to her dramatic courtroom testimony. Using the pages of an old journal he followed the route of Dan Thrapp as he crossed an expanse of wildly rugged country with a pair of outlaws. Thrapp’s story of survival in an unforgiving land is a poignant counterpoint to the fate of the artist Everett Ruess, which the New York Times has called “one of the most enduring mysteries of the modern West.” Thybony draws on extensive research and a lifetime of exploration to create a riveting story of these three lives.

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Evil Dead Center
A Mystery
Carole laFavor
University of Minnesota Press, 2017

An Ojibwa woman has been found dead on the outskirts of the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, but after an ex-lover comes back into her life saying foul play was involved, Renee LaRoche wants to prove otherwise. As the events begin to unfold, Renee conducts a presumably normal welfare check on a young Ojibwa boy in foster care. After she learns the boy has suffered abuse, Renee finds herself amid an investigation into the foster care system and the deep trauma it has inflicted on the Ojibwa people. As Renee uncovers horrible truths, she must work through her own childhood issues to help shine a light on the dark web she has stumbled into.


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From Mastery to Mystery
A Phenomenological Foundation for an Environmental Ethic
Bryan E. Bannon
Ohio University Press, 2014

From Mastery to Mystery is an original and provocative contribution to the burgeoningfield of ecophenomenology. Informed by current debates in environmental philosophy, Bannon critiques the conception of nature as u200a“substance” that he finds tacitly assumed by the major environmental theorists. Instead, this book reconsiders the basic goals of an environmental ethic by questioning the most basic presupposition that most environmentalists accept: that nature is in need of preservation.

Beginning with Bruno Latour’s idea that continuing to speak of nature in the way we popularly conceive of it is ethically and politically disastrous, this book describes a way in which the concept of nature can retain its importance in our discussion of the contemporary state of the environment. Based upon insights from the phenomenological tradition, specifically the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the concept of nature developed in the book preserves the best antihumanistic intuitions of environmentalists without relying on either a reductionistic understanding of nature and the sciences or dualistic metaphysical constructions.


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Ice Ages
Solving the Mystery
John Imbrie and Katherine Palmer Imbrie
Harvard University Press, 1986

This book tells the exciting story of the ice ages—what they were like, why they occurred, and when the next one is due. The solution to the ice age mystery originated when the National Science Foundation organized the CLIMAP project to study changes in the earth’s climate over the past 700,000 years. One of the goals was to produce a map of the earth during the last ice age. Scientists examined cores of sediment from the Indian Ocean bed and deciphered a continuous history for the past 500,000 years. Their work ultimately confirmed the theory that the earth’s irregular orbital motions account for the bizarre climatic changes which bring on ice ages.

This is a tale of scientific discovery and the colorful people who participated: Louis Agassiz, the young Swiss naturalist whose geological studies first convinced scientists that the earth has recently passed through an ice age; the Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric but respected Oxford professor who fought so hard against the ice-age theory before accepting it; James Croll, a Scots mechanic who educated himself as a scientist and first formulated the astronomic theory of ice ages; Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian mathematician who gave the astronomic theory its firm quantitative foundation; and the many other astronomers, geochemists, geologists, paleontologists, and geophysicists who have been engaged for nearly a century and a half in the pressing search for a solution to the ice-age mystery.


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The Science and Mystery of Freshwater Mussels
Abbie Gascho Landis
Island Press, 2017
"This is nature writing at its best." —E.O. Wilson

"Eloquent treatise...Landis's book is as much call to action as paean to mesmerizing molluscs." —Nature

"Rich, accurate, and moving." —New Scientist

"A lyrical love letter to the imperiled freshwater mussel." —Science

Abbie Gascho Landis first fell for freshwater mussels while submerged in an Alabama creek, her pregnant belly squeezed into a wetsuit. After an hour of fruitless scanning, a mussel materialized from the rocks—a little spectaclecase, herself pregnant, filtering the river water through a delicate body while her gills bulged with offspring. In that moment of connection, Landis became a mussel groupie, obsessed with learning more about the creatures’ hidden lives. She isn’t the only fanatic; the shy mollusks, so vital to the health of rivers around the world, have a way of inspiring unusual devotion.

In Immersion, Landis brings readers to a hotbed of mussel diversity, the American Southeast, to seek mussels where they eat, procreate, and, too often, perish. Accompanied often by her husband, a mussel scientist, and her young children, she learned to see mussels on the creekbed, to tell a spectaclecase from a pigtoe, and to worry what vanishing mussels—70 percent of North American species are imperiled—will mean for humans and wildlife alike. In Immersion, Landis shares this journey, traveling from perilous river surveys to dry streambeds and into laboratories where endangered mussels are raised one precious life at a time.

Mussels have much to teach us about the health of our watersheds if we step into the creek and take a closer look at their lives. In the tradition of writers like Terry Tempest Williams and Sy Montgomery, Landis gracefully chronicles these untold stories with a veterinarian’s careful eye and the curiosity of a naturalist. In turns joyful and sobering, Immersion is an invitation to see rivers from a mussel’s perspective, a celebration of the wild lives visible to those who learn to search.

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In Face of Mystery
A Constructive Theology
Gordon D. Kaufman
Harvard University Press, 1993

In the symbolic world of Christianity, which millions have inhabited for centuries, is there room for modern and postmodern life—for today’s real world of cultural relativism and religious pluralism, of scientific knowledge and historical understanding? In Face of Mystery draws these two worlds together in a full-scale reconception of Christian theology.

Theology, Gordon Kaufman suggests, is an imaginative construction, the creation of a symbolic world for ordering life. As it has been constructed, so it can be reconstructed, and Kaufman does so in a way that clarifies both the historic roots and the present-day applications of Christian symbolism. He works with a “biohistorical” interpretation of human life, one that portrays humanity as a product of biological evolution and historical development. While taking account of cultural and religious pluralism, and while providing criteria for making comparative assessments and judgments, this interpretation of human historical existence also situates human beings—with their capacities for freedom and creativity—within the ecological wed that sustains all life. Human beings, Kaufman argues, have created religious symbolism as a necessary part of their attempt to orient themselves in the world. He shows how Christianity, as a system of symbols, has figured in this effort, and he carefully examines the separate elements of the Christian perspective—foremost among them, God. How does the concept of God, as an ultimate point of reference, enhance our understanding of today’s world; and how does the symbol “Christ” qualify this concept? The answers Kaufman proposes clarify the changing relevance of the symbolic world of Christianity.

Firmly embedded in physical and social science and in the tradition of American pragmatism, this thorough reconception of a Christian worldview offers insight into the most basic questions confronting humanity today—questions of value, meaning, and self-identity.


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Introduction to the Mystery of the Church
Benoit-Dominique de La Soujeole, OP
Catholic University of America Press, 2014
An ecclesiological survey presenting a doctrinal synthesis of the church.

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It's Just the Normal Noises
Marcus, Guralnick, No Depression, and the Mystery of Americana Music
Timothy Gray
University of Iowa Press, 2017
Roots rock, Americana, alt country: what are they and why do they matter? Americans have been trying to answer these questions for as long as the music bearing these labels has existed. Music can function as an escape from the outside world or as an explanation of that world. Listeners who identify with the music’s message may shape their social understandings accordingly. Rock critics like Greil Marcus and Peter Guralnick, the titans of rock criticism, tap this fluid dichotomy, considering the personal appeal of roots music alongside national ideals of democracy and selfhood. So too do many other critics, novelists, and fans, explaining to themselves and us how music forms our selves and the communities we seek out and build up.

In It’s Just the Normal Noises, Timothy Gray examines a wide array of writing about roots music from the 1960s to the 2000s. In addition to chapters on the genre-defining work of Guralnick and Marcus, he explores the influential writings of Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock, the editors of No Depression magazine, and the writers who contributed to its pages, Bill Friskicks-Warren, Ed Ward, David Cantwell, and Allison Stewart among them. A host of memoirists and novelists, from Patti Smith and Ann Powers to Eleanor Henderson and Dana Spiotta, shed light on the social effects and personal attachments of the music’s many manifestations, from punk to alt country to hardcore. The ambivalent attitudes of rock musicians toward success and failure, the meaning of soul, the formation of alternative communities through magazine readership, and the obsession of Generation X scenes with DIY production values wend through these works.

Taking a personal approach to the subject matter, Gray reads criticism and listens to music as though rock ‘n’ roll not only explains American culture, but also shores up his life. This book is for everyone who’s heard in roots rock the sound of an individual and a nation singing themselves into being.

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Jewish Temple Theology and the Mystery of the Cross
Atonement and the Two Goats of Yom Kippur
Richard J. Barry IV
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
On the Day of Atonement, two goats were brought before the high priest at the temple. One was chosen as the goat for the Lord, a spotless sacrifice, and the other was set aside for Azazel, doomed to bear sins into the wilderness. Jewish Temple Theology and the Mystery of the Cross shows how a theological appreciation for the two movements of Yom Kippur makes it possible to identify the paradox at the heart of Christian soteriology: in his single atoning act, Jesus Christ fulfills the work of both goats, without confusion, without division. Appreciation for this paradox helps illuminate many of the doctrinal debates in the history of Christian soteriology and offers a compelling way forward. Jewish Temple Theology and the Mystery of the Cross begins with a survey of biblical geography: first, a rich theological pilgrimage to Mount Zion, the home of beauty, goodness, and truth, and then to the surrounding desert, the wilderness of sin and sorrow. To appreciate the Yom Kippur liturgy, and to understand the priestly word “atonement,” one must be oriented by this cosmic stage. Drawing on the best modern historical-critical scholarship, this volume reveals the wonders hidden in Leviticus and shows how a sophisticated theological interpretation of this book leads to breakthroughs in our understanding of Christ’s saving work. Seeing the mystery of the cross from the perspective of the ancient Jewish scriptures has surprising results. For example, Richard Barry shows how Hans Urs von Balthasar’s controversial theology of Holy Saturday is a compelling development of Azazel-goat soteriology; it is not only biblically licit but is in some ways mandated by the logic of Yom Kippur. At the same time, David Bentley Hart is celebrated for the way he powerfully advances modern YHWH-goat soteriology, yet obedience to the logic of Yom Kippur also necessitates a nuanced biblical critique of his muscular universalism. How can Christ fulfill the seemingly contradictory movements of both goats in a single saving work? Grappling with that question, Jewish Temple Theology and the Mystery of the Cross seeks to draw nearer to the heart of the mystery of salvation.

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Milwaukee Mayhem
Murder and Mystery in the Cream City's First Century
Matthew J. Prigge
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015

From murder and matchstick men to all-consuming fires, painted women, and Great Lakes disasters--and the wide-eyed public who could not help but gawk at it all--"Milwaukee Mayhem" uncovers the little-remembered and rarely told history of the underbelly of a Midwestern metropolis. "Milwaukee Mayhem" offers a new perspective on Milwaukee's early years, forgoing the major historical signposts found in traditional histories and focusing instead on the strange and brutal tales of mystery, vice, murder, and disaster that were born of the city's transformation from lakeside settlement to American metropolis. Author Matthew J. Prigge presents these stories as they were recounted to the public in the newspapers of the era, using the vivid and often grim language of the times to create an engaging and occasionally chilling narrative of a forgotten Milwaukee.

Through his thoughtful introduction, Prigge gives the work context, eschewing assumptions about "simpler times" and highlighting the mayhem that the growth and rise of a city can bring about. These stories are the orphans of Milwaukee's history, too unusual to register in broad historic narratives, too strange to qualify as nostalgia, but nevertheless essential to our understanding of this American city.


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Mystery and Intelligibility
History of Philosophy as Pursuit of Wisdom
Jeffrey Dirk Wilson
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
Philosophy is born in its history as pursuit of the wisdom we are never able fully to know. Mystery and Intelligibility: History of Philosophy as Pursuit of Wisdom both argues for that method and presents the results it can achieve. Editor Jeffrey Dirk Wilson has gathered essays from six philosophical luminaries. In “History, Philosophy, and the History of Philosophy,” Timothy B. Noone provides the volume’s discourse on method in which he distinguishes three tiers of history. History of philosophy as method occupies the third and highest tier. John Rist reckons with contemporary corruption of the method in “A Guide for the Perplexed or How to Present or Pervert the History of Philosophy.” Wilson’s own essay, “Wonder and the Discovery of Being: From Homeric Myth to the Natural Genera of Early Greek Philosophy,” shows the loss of wonder, so evident in mythology, by early Greek thinkers and its recovery by Plato and Aristotle. In “Metaphysics and the Origin of Culture,” Donald Phillip Verene demonstrates the wide cultural implications of philosophical discoveries even when the discovery is the boundary of what humans can know. William Desmond offers an essay, “Flux-Gibberish: For and Against Heraclitus,” that owes as much to the humor of James Joyce as to the philosophical insights of philosophers, ancient, medieval, and modern. Eric D. Perl’s essay turns to the apophatic character of pursuing wisdom, perhaps especially when asking what may be the most fundamental metaphysical question: “Into the Dark: How (Not) to Ask, ‘Why is There Anything at All.’” Philipp W. Rosemann concludes the volume with the question best asked at the end of this literary seminar, “What is Philosophy?” Although there are philosophers within the analytic and continental schools who are committed to the history of philosophy, Mystery and Intelligibility demonstrates that history of philosophy as a third and distinct philosophical method is revelatory of the nature and structure of reality.

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The Mystery of A Yellow Sleuth
Detective Sergeant Nor Nalla, Federated Malay States Police
Ronald Allan
National University of Singapore Press, 2018
In 1931 a book full of thrilling adventures set mostly in Malaya appeared in London under the title A Yellow Sleuth: Being the Autobiography of “Nor Nalla” (Detective-Sergeant Federated Malay States Police). Reviewers concluded that the stories were just barely plausible, but agreed that the author knew Malaya intimately.
Nor Nalla is an anagram for Ron Allan, who spent four years working on a rubber plantation in Malaya shortly before World War I. Like Kipling’s famous colonial spy, Kim, the “yellow sleuth” is a master of undercover operations, and this reissued work explores vast locales, from the forests of Malaya to the ports of Java, from London’s underbelly to the camps of Chinese laborers in WWI Flanders.  Throughout, readers are left to differentiate between fiction and fact, and ponder questions of authorship, in this “impossible fantasy of hybridity,” as Phillip Holden calls it in his perceptive introduction.
Contemporary readers will not only savor the book’s tales of adventure and detection, they will also appreciate the ways that the author brings to life— and reveals the contradictions of—late colonial society.

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Mystery Of Being Vol 1
Reflection & Mystery
Gabriel Marcel
St. Augustine's Press, 1950

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The Mystery of Communion
Giulio Maspero
St. Augustine's Press, 2020
Dr. Giulio Maspero is a priest, theologian and physicist who in this work embarks on a study of the Trinity––the Christian triune God––and in a single narrative pieces together the classical metaphysics, revealed truths and Patristic apologetic theology that directed the development of Trinitarian dogma. Maspero views the importance of this project from several perspectives. It connects us both exegetically and in fellowship to Christianity’s Jewish roots and the living God of shared Scripture. It introduces the reader to a deeper understanding of the historical development of the Trinity, which is especially engaging given the formidable minds and arguments involved in this history, particularly on the part of the Cappadocian Fathers: Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nanzianzus and Basil the Great. Maspero also notes that knowing the Trinity better will offer greater insight into papal descriptions of the human family as necessarily rooted in a Trinitarian foundation, a “communion of persons in the image of the union of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” 

An approach to Trinitarian theology often favors overly technical language, or undue triteness. Maspero succeeds in leading both scholar and student to see how the unfolding of the mystery of the Trinity and its dogmatic development is a discovery of the “mystery from which all true love flows” in history. This discovery is only possible because of God’s self-revelation and immanence––that is, his heart and his “within.” The revelation of his being wholly and eternally Father and Son and the Love between them has made a more complete unity know to humanity through the perfect unity of divine communion. The foundation of all being and reality is this communion of love, personal unity that is given in relation and not in spite of relation. After a career of studying theology and theoretical physics, Maspero is especially keen on emphasizing the radical nature of this concept. It is an extension of Greek philosophy but ripped open and assigned immeasurable new value in communion and relation. 

The brevity of this work limits the amount of citations and textual references given, and Maspero instead urges the reader to study the book alongside Scripture. His manner of writing respects the impossibility of speaking of God in his immanence, but he nonetheless carves out a place for the Trinity in the human intellect, a place where the Jewish and Christian God might be encountered. As Maspero observes, truth is found in the personal dimension, but “just as in the use of a map for a journey, the cognitive grasp of the Trinity is to prevent us from getting lost, to keep us from reducing and simplifying the Trinity into something we understand merely on a natural level.” A highlight of this work is Maspero’s reliance on Mary, Theotokos, in his presentation of Trinitarian theology, the person who first opened herself to this manner of thinking.

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The Mystery of Courage
William Ian Miller
Harvard University Press, 2002

Few of us spend much time thinking about courage, but we know it when we see it--or do we? Is it best displayed by marching into danger, making the charge, or by resisting, enduring without complaint? Is it physical or moral, or both? Is it fearless, or does it involve subduing fear? Abner Small, a Civil War soldier, was puzzled by what he called the "mystery of bravery"; to him, courage and cowardice seemed strangely divorced from character and will. It is this mystery, just as puzzling in our day, that William Ian Miller unravels in this engrossing meditation.

Miller culls sources as varied as soldiers' memoirs, heroic and romantic literature, and philosophical discussions to get to the heart of courage--and to expose its role in generating the central anxieties of masculinity and manhood. He probes the link between courage and fear, and explores the connection between bravery and seemingly related states: rashness, stubbornness, madness, cruelty, fury; pride and fear of disgrace; and the authority and experience that minimize fear. By turns witty and moving, inquisitive and critical, his inquiry takes us from ancient Greece to medieval Europe, to the American Civil War, to the Great War and Vietnam, with sidetrips to the schoolyard, the bedroom, and the restaurant. Whether consulting Aristotle or private soldiers, Miller elicits consistently compelling insights into a condition as endlessly interesting as it is elusive.


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The Mystery of Culture Contacts, Historical Reconstruction, and Text Analysis
An Emic Approach
Kenneth L. Pike, Carol V. McKinney, Gary F. Simons, and Donald A. Burquest. Kurt R. Jankowsky, Editor
Georgetown University Press, 1996

Renowned linguist Kenneth L. Pike and his coauthors offer three previously unpublished essays that apply theoretical linguistic research to the areas of historical linguistics, cross-cultural communications, and text analysis.

"Toward the Historical Reconstruction of Matrix Patterns in Morphology" establishes a comprehensive theory of morphological structure based on a number of languages. "Understanding Misunderstanding as Cross-Cultural Emic Clash" examines the crucial role that language plays in the numerous problems encountered in contacts between people from divergent cultural backgrounds. "The Importance of Purposive Behavior in Text Analysis" explores the centrality of establishing the relationship of reality to what is actually expressed in a text.


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The Mystery of Death and Beyond
Kenneth Baker, S.J.
St. Augustine's Press, 2016
The purpose of this little book is to answer certain questions that many people have about the nature of death. Most people feel that there is something wrong about death. We all want to live a happy life and we do not want to die. Life is experienced as something very good and we want to preserve it. But the reality is that man is by nature mortal, which means that he is destined to die sooner or later. The fact is that we begin to die the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb.
     Man is unlike all other animals, because he has a soul endowed with intelligence and free will. Because man’s soul is spiritual, it is immortal. Death is the separation of that soul from the body; the body decays and returns to the dust from which it was taken, but the soul continues to live and is in the hands of God. But what happens to the soul after death? There are two possibilities—heaven or hell. We know from divine revelation and from the infallible teaching of the Church that the soul after death goes immediately to heaven (perhaps first for a time to purgatory to be totally cleansed and sanctified), or immediately to hell, a state or place of eternal misery.
     The next life is a life without time—it is a perpetual now, with no before and after. It has a beginning but not end. It is also unchangeable, that is, souls in heaven are there forever and they cannot lose it; souls in hell are there forever and they can never be freed from it.
     This is a very serious and certain reality for each one of us. The most important thing we will ever do is to die, and to die in the state of God’s grace so that we are his friends and will be admitted to his presence, which is what is meant by heaven. Therefore we must prepare ourselves to die in the grace of God, which is our ticket to heaven. We do that by doing God’s will for us, which means to keep his commandments, especially to love God above all things and practice love of neighbor.
     This short book will help people think about their death and how important it is for their permanent happiness. It will help them to arrange their life in such a way that they will live it as God wants them to live it and so ultimately obtain eternal life with God because: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).


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The Mystery of Economic Growth
Elhanan Helpman
Harvard University Press, 2004

Far more than an intellectual puzzle for pundits, economists, and policymakers, economic growth--its makings and workings--is a subject that affects the well-being of billions of people around the globe. In The Mystery of Economic Growth, Elhanan Helpman discusses the vast research that has revolutionized understanding of this subject in recent years, and summarizes and explains its critical messages in clear, concise, and accessible terms.

The tale of growth economics, as Helpman tells it, is organized around a number of themes: the importance of the accumulation of physical and human capital; the effect of technological factors on the rate of this accumulation; the process of knowledge creation and its influence on productivity; the interdependence of the growth rates of different countries; and, finally, the role of economic and political institutions in encouraging accumulation, innovation, and change.

One of the leading researchers of economic growth, Helpman succinctly reviews, critiques, and integrates current research--on capital accumulation, education, productivity, trade, inequality, geography, and institutions--and clarifies its relevance for global economic inequities. In particular, he points to institutions--including property rights protection, legal systems, customs, and political systems--as the key to the mystery of economic growth. Solving this mystery could lead to policies capable of setting the poorest countries on the path toward sustained growth of per capita income and all that that implies--and Helpman's work is a welcome and necessary step in this direction.


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The Mystery of Fascism
David Ramsay Steele's Greatest Hits
David Ramsay Steele
St. Augustine's Press, 2019

David Ramsay Steele, PhD, is a libertarian writer with a powerful underground reputation for producing caustic, entertaining, knowledgeable, and surprising arguments, often violently at odds with conventional thinking. For the first time, some of Dr. Steele’s “greatest hits” have been brought together in an anthology of provocative essays on a wide range of topics. The essays are divided into two parts, “More Popular than Scholarly” and “More Scholarly than Popular.”

“Scott Adams and the Pinocchio Fallacy,” Steele’s 2018 refutation of the popular claim that we might be living in a “simulated reality,” has been hailed as a totally irresistible debunking of that fallacy as promoted by The Matrix movie and by Scott Adams (among many pundits).

“What Follows from the Non-Existence of Mental Illness?” (2017) preserves the crucial insights of “psychiatric abolitionist” Thomas Szasz, while exposing Szasz’s major misconceptions.

In “The Bigotry of the New Atheism” (2014), Steele, himself an atheist, brings out the intolerant quality of the “New Atheists.” Steele powerfully argues that while “enthusiastic belief systems” may give rise to enormous atrocities, the historical evidence goes against the theory (promoted by Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens) that these appalling outcomes are more likely when those belief systems include belief in God.

“Taking the JFK Assassination Conspiracy Seriously” (2003) has been reprinted many times, continues to be viewed online many thousands of times, and like many of Steele’s writings, keeps making converts. It is acknowledged to be the most persuasive brief popular statement of the Lone Nut theory.

“The Mystery of Fascism” (2001), which gives this collection its title, is still continually viewed and cited, for its demonstration that fascism arose directly out of far-left revolutionary Marxism and revolutionary syndicalism. Conventional ideologues of both right and left have been provoked by this highly readable piece to start thinking outside the box.

The earliest piece in this collection, “Alice in Wonderland” (1987) is a devastating critique of the Ayn Rand belief system and the Ayn Rand cult.

“Gambling Is Productive and Rational” (1997), mercilessly strips away the loose thinking which favors intolerance and prohibition of gambling. Steele argues that gambling adds to human well-being and ought to be completely legalized everywhere.

Other topics include the recovered memory witch hunt of the 1990s, the benefits of replacing democratic voting with selection of political positions by lottery, the unexpected results of research into the causes of human happiness, the reasons why Dexter (a TV show sympathetic to a psychotic serial killer) was politically “safe,” why economic growth can go on for ever, why the most popular moral argument against eating meat just doesn’t work, how Hillary Clinton could have won the presidency in 2016, why Friedrich Hayek is wrong about social evolution, the inevitable disappearance of market socialism, Robert Nozick’s muddled thinking about economics, and the proper way to view anti-consensus theories such as the Atkins Diet.


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Mystery of Mysteries
Is Evolution a Social Construction?
Michael Ruse
Harvard University Press, 1999

With the recent Sokal hoax--the publication of a prominent physicist's pseudo-article in a leading journal of cultural studies--the status of science moved sharply from debate to dispute. Is science objective, a disinterested reflection of reality, as Karl Popper and his followers believed? Or is it subjective, a social construction, as Thomas Kuhn and his students maintained? Into the fray comes Mystery of Mysteries, an enlightening inquiry into the nature of science, using evolutionary theory as a case study.

Michael Ruse begins with such colorful luminaries as Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) and Julian Huxley (brother of novelist Aldous and grandson of T. H. Huxley, "Darwin's bulldog" ) and ends with the work of the English game theorist Geoffrey Parker--a microevolutionist who made his mark studying the mating strategies of dung flies--and the American paleontologist Jack Sepkoski, whose computer-generated models reconstruct mass extinctions and other macro events in life's history. Along the way Ruse considers two great popularizers of evolution, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould, as well as two leaders in the field of evolutionary studies, Richard Lewontin and Edward O. Wilson, paying close attention to these figures' cultural commitments: Gould's transplanted Germanic idealism, Dawkins's male-dominated Oxbridge circle, Lewontin's Jewish background, and Wilson's southern childhood. Ruse explicates the role of metaphor and metavalues in evolutionary thought and draws significant conclusions about the cultural impregnation of science. Identifying strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the "science wars," he demonstrates that a resolution of the objective and subjective debate is nonetheless possible.


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Mystery of the Church, People of God
Rose Beal
Catholic University of America Press, 2014
Congar coined the term "total ecclesiology" in his ground-breaking outline for a theology of the laity, A Way towards a Theology of the Laity. In Mystery of the Church, People of God, Rose M. Beal argues that "total ecclesiology" is the necessary and appropriate lens for a comprehensive interpretation of Congar's ecclesiological project prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Beal works from Congar's published works from 1931 to 1954, as well as from unpublished texts from the same time period, to integrate and propose a comprehensive interpretation of his ecclesiological purposes and methods.

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Mystery of the Wax Museum
Edited, with an introduction by Richard Koszarski; Tino T. Balio, Series Editor
University of Wisconsin Press, 1979

The Depression-era vogue for horror and the supernatural produced some of Hollywoood's most memorable chillers, among them Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paramount), Frankenstein, (Universal), and King Kong (RKO). At Warner Brothers, the main entry was Mystery of the Wax Museum, directed by Michael Curtiz, a grand thriller of 1933 in which Fay Wray (Who would appear opposite Kong later that same year) was threatened with waxy immortality by the maniacal Lionel Atwill.


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The Mystery of Union with God
Bernhard Blankenhorn
Catholic University of America Press, 2015
The Mystery of Union with God offers the most extensive, systematic analysis to date of how Albert and Thomas interpreted and transformed the Dionysian Moses "who knows God by unknowing." It shows Albert's and Thomas's philosophical and theological motives to place limits on Dionysian apophatism and to reintegrate mediated knowledge into mystical knowing. The author surfaces many similarities in the two Dominicans' mystical doctrines and exegesis of Dionysius. This work prepares the way for a new consideration of Albert the Great as the father of Rhineland Mysticism. The original presentation of Aquinas's theology of the Spirit's seven gifts breaks new ground in theological scholarship. Finally, the entire book lays out a model for the study of mystical theology from a historical, philosophical and doctrinal perspective.

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The Priesthood, Mystery of Faith
Priestly Ministry in the Magisterium of John Paul II
Nilson Leal de Sa, CB
Catholic University of America Press, 2022
After almost twenty-seven years of his pontificate, what was John Paul II’s legacy regarding the ministerial priesthood? What answers did he give to the questions still surrounding this reality today? Nilson Leal de Sá, CB, examines the pontiff’s twenty-seven letters of Holy Thursday addressed annually to the priests. Unlike some papal documents, which are drafted by many hands, these letters to priests were born of a personal initiative, wherein the pope spoke ab imo pectore (from the depths of his heart), giving a little of himself and his thought. Cardinal Georges-Marie Cottier, theologian emeritus of the Pontifical House and a connoisseur of the texts of the Holy Father, has confirmed that “the Letters of Holy Thursday were written by John Paul II himself.” Leal de Sá has sought in the diversity of the letters of Holy Thursday the major points of the thought of John Paul II on this important topic. The first chapter dwells on the sources of his teaching and emphasizes his use of the Word of God, Tradition, and the conciliar Magisterium. These foundations are the basis of the second chapter, which highlights the priestly identity in the life of the Church. Finally, the third chapter elucidates the specific mission of the priest. The Priesthood, Mystery of Faith presents itself as a real and stimulating synthesis of John Paul II’s thought about the ministerial priesthood in a systematic way. It renews us in the appreciation of the inestimable gift that God makes to the whole Church through the sacrament of the Holy Orders.

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The Readers' Advisory Guide to Mystery
John Charles
American Library Association, 2012

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Remembering Ella
A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks
Nita Gould
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2018
In November 1912, popular and pretty eighteen-year-old Ella Barham was raped, murdered, and dismembered in broad daylight near her home in rural Boone County, Arkansas. The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the Ozarks and made national news. Authorities swiftly charged a neighbor, Odus Davidson, with the crime. Locals were determined that he be convicted, and threats of mob violence ran so high that he had to be jailed in another county to ensure his safety. But was there enough evidence to prove his guilt? If so, had he acted alone? What was his motive?

This examination of the murder of Ella Barham and the trial of her alleged killer opens a window into the meaning of community and due process during a time when politicians and judges sought to professionalize justice, moving from local hangings to state-run executions. Davidson’s appeal has been cited as a precedent in numerous court cases and his brief was reviewed by the lawyers in Georgia who prepared Leo Frank’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915.

Author Nita Gould is a descendant of the Barhams of Boone County and Ella Barham’s cousin. Her tenacious pursuit to create an authoritative account of the community, the crime, and the subsequent legal battle spanned nearly fifteen years. Gould weaves local history and short biographies into her narrative and also draws on the official case files, hundreds of newspaper accounts, and personal Barham family documents. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.


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Riddle, Mystery, and Enigma
Two Hundred Years of British–Russian Relations
David Owen
Haus Publishing, 2022
A history of relations between Britain and Russia from the nineteenth century to the present.
With Riddle, Mystery, and Enigma, statesman and author David Owen tells the story of Britain’s relationship with Russia, which has been surprisingly underexplored. Through his characteristic insight and expertise, he depicts a relationship governed by principle as often as by suspicion, expediency, and necessity.
When the two nations formed a pragmatic alliance and fought together at the Battle of Navarino in Greece in 1827, it was overwhelmingly the work of the British prime minister, George Canning. His death brought about a drastic shift that would see the countries fighting on opposite sides in the Crimean War and jostling for power during the Great Game. It was not until the Russian Revolution of 1917 that another statesman had a defining impact on relations between Britain and Russia: Winston Churchill, who opposed Bolshevism yet never stopped advocating for diplomatic and military engagement with Russia. In the Second World War, he recognized early on the necessity of allying with the Soviets against the menace of Nazi Germany. Bringing us into the twenty-first century, Owen chronicles how both countries have responded to their geopolitical decline. Drawing on both imperial and Soviet history, he explains the unique nature of Putin’s autocracy and addresses Britain’s return to “blue water” diplomacy.  Newly revised, this paperback edition features extended chapters on Putin’s Russia and the future of British–Russian relations after the Russo-Ukrainian War.

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Ten Women of Mystery
Edited by Earl F. Bargainnier
University of Wisconsin Press, 1981

This volume, which examines the special contributions of a number of women mystery writers, sheds light on this significant example of common interests in recreational reading among women and men and the reasons behind the early and continuing uncharacteristic near-equality of both sexes in this field of endeavor.


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The Tradescants' Orchard
The Mystery of a Seventeenth-Century Painted Fruit Book
Barrie Juniper and Hanneke Grootenboer
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
In the early seventeenth century, England’s leisured classes took an eager interest in fruits from the Mediterranean and beyond, introducing species from abroad into the kitchen gardens and orchards of grand homes. A charming collection of sixty-six early watercolors showing fecund trees with fruits hanging heavily from their branches, The Tradescants’ Orchard is a testament to these broadening horticultural horizons.

The Tradescants’ Orchard reproduces for the first time the entire manuscript, traditionally associated with the renowned father-and-son nurserymen the John Tradescants. The paintings pose many questions: Who painted them and why? What is the significance of the wildlife—birds, butterflies, frogs, and snails—that appear throughout? Why is there only one depiction of an apple tree despite its popularity? Were there others that have since gone missing?

A visual feast that will appeal to botany and gardening enthusiasts, the book also includes an introduction that maps out the mystery of how and why these enigmatic watercolors were made.

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Trinitarian Ecclesiology
Charles Journet, the Divine Missions, and the Mystery of the Church
John F. O'Neill
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
Venerable Fulton Sheen once famously said that “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be – which is, of course, quite a different thing.” What is the true understanding of the mystery of the Church? In Lumen Gentium, the Church famously identifies herself as the sacrament of salvation, and various attempts have been made at developing an ecclesiology rooted in this idea. Another approach, nevertheless, prominent in the opening chapter of Lumen Gentium, is the relation of the Church to the Trinity in light of the divine missions, especially those of the Incarnation and Pentecost. Trinitarian Ecclesiology is an example of this approach to the mystery of the Church that places the divine missions at the head and the heart of the work. The order of Journet's work is based on the four causes of the Church. Journet situates the treatise on the hierarchy in its proper place as belonging to the efficient cause of the Church in order to treat the more central mystery of the Church in her formal and material causes, namely the sanctifying gift of fully Christic charity and its visible manifestation. While Journet’s magisterial work may already be identified as a Trinitarian Ecclesiology, recent research into the Trinitarian theology of St. Thomas Aquinas has deepened our understanding of his teaching, particularly in the way that creatures can relate to the divine persons in the divine missions. With a clearer understanding of the relation of creatures to the divine persons rooted in grace and its effects, a deeper vision of the mystery of the Church emerges, one that sees the Church as the visible mission of the Holy Spirit, inseparably joined with the visible mission of the Son in the Incarnation. The Great Mystery of Christ and the Church is the unity of the visible missions of the Son and the Spirit who have been sent into the world for our salvation.

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The Trinity
On the Nature and Mystery of the One God
Thomas Joseph White, OP
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
The Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith. What can we say about the divine nature, and what does it mean to say that God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, three persons who are one in being? In this book, best selling author Thomas Joseph White, OP, examines the development of early Christian reflection on the Trinity, arguing that essential contributions of Patristic theology are preserved and expanded in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. By focusing on Aquinas’ theology of the divine nature as well as his treatment of divine personhood, White explores in depth the mystery of Trinitarian monotheism. The Trinity: On the Nature and Mystery of the One God also engages with influential proposals of modern theologians on major topics such as Trinitarian creation, Incarnation and crucifixion, and presents creative engagements with these topics. Ultimately any theology of the cross is also a theology of the Trinity, and this book seeks to illustrate how the human life, death, and resurrection of Jesus reveal the inner life of God as Trinity.

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Twelve Englishmen of Mystery
Edited by Earl F. Bargainnier
University of Wisconsin Press, 1984
There are hundreds of satisfactory and satisfying British mystery writers whose works should be studied both for their own individual accomplishments and for their comments on the society in which they were published, in the last 150 years, but who have not received any critical comment lately.
    This volume is designed to correct that fault in a dozen of those unjustifiably neglected British authors: Wilkie Collins, A.E.W. Mason, G.K. Chesterton, H.C. Bailey, Anthony Berkeley Cox, Nicholas Blake, Michael Gilbert, Julian Symons, Dick Francis, Edmund Crispin, H.R.F. Keating, and Simon Brett.

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