Saturday, December 10, 2011

David Bentley Hart's Translation of the New Testament (and other news)

About 4 months ago I posted an inquiry on Google+ (which, as it happens, I enthusiastically support as the premiere social network) to Giles Anderson of The Anderson Literary Agency, which represents David Bentley Hart, as to whether he had any information on what his next project would be. A few months later Anderson informed me that they would have an announcement concerning the details of his next project shortly. Hart had mentioned that he had written (or was writing) a novella with the character of the Devil appearing in it. I was expecting Anderson's announcement to be with regard to this novella.

In the meantime, a collection of short stories by Hart titled The Devil and Pierre Gernet appeared on Amazon along with pre-order information. There was no announcement from Anderson or his agency, so I assumed this was an outside project for Hart. Due to arrive sometime in February, the prospect of David Bentley Hart's imagination and erudition being applied to a proper work of fiction was cause for legitimate excitement.

Then, a few days ago, Anderson messaged me on Google+ with what appeared to be an excerpt of an email from Anderson to Yale University Press regarding Hart's next project. Here is what he sent:

"Author of Atheist Delusions and recent winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize David Bentley Hart's THE NEW TESTAMENT: A New Translation, a version that promises to awaken readers to the mysteries and ambiguities in the original text, to Jennifer Banks at Yale University Press, by Giles Anderson at Anderson Literary Agency."

For Hart enthusiasts, such as myself, that is one colossal, exhilirating announcement! Coming, as it does, on the heels of another translation by a public Christian intellectual -- N.T. Wright -- it also could mark the beginning of a contemporary trend of sorts.

In addition to both these bits of news, Hart recently contributed a piece to The New Criterion's "Future Tense" series with an exquisite, brilliant essay on religion in America, in addition to an excoriating article at First Thing's online dismantling "the Oxfordian hypothesis", which is the basis for the seemingly ridiculous film Anonymous.

All of this following the demise of his regular On the Square column and a few months of troubling silence. I have both been edified and left in a state of great anticipation.

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