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A Grotesque in the Garden
Hud Hudson
Foreword by Michael Rea

Second Edition
PAPERBACK; Published: 6/23/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7817-5
Price: $ 17.99
168 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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After several millennia living as a lone sentinel in the Garden of Eden, the angel Tesque is contemplating leaving his post in rebellion against God. Meanwhile, in another time and place, a professor of mathematics isolates herself in remote Iceland as she finds herself increasingly at odds with society. The connection between these two characters? A letter, a sentient dog, and a deep-seated resistance to the demands of love. 

A Grotesque in the Garden is a philosophical tale that addresses some of theology’s thorniest problems, including the questions of divinely permitted evil, divine hiddenness, and divine deception, couching them in narrative form for greater accessibility to students and general readers. While Hudson’s story ultimately vindicates the virtue of obedience to God, it never shies away from critiques of troublesome theological positions. 

This second edition contains an appendix with commentary, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael Rea
Part I: Tesque
1. A Love Letter: From Dust to Dust
2. Lazaraistones
3. The God of Silence
4. Divine Deception
5. Visions from the Tree
6. Obedience or Rebellion?
Part II: Joy
7. A Beast Sings
Part III: Naphil
8. A Night Visitor
9. Misanthropy
10. Infelix Culpa
11. Return to the Garden
Questions for Discussion

Oliver Crisp
— University of St. Andrews
“This is not your average novel. It taps into deep religious themes to ask fundamental philosophical questions by means of a compelling and beautifully written narrative. If you yearn for tales that satisfy your head as well as your heart, and that leave you pondering some of the greatest existential questions human beings face, then read this book.”
Michael Rea
—from the foreword
“This is a splendid book—philosophically rich, beautifully written, and thoroughly engaging. As a teacher of college students, I have found the novel to be an excellent text for introducing undergraduates in thought-provoking ways to key issues in the philosophy of religion.”
— Matthew A. Benton in Faith and Philosophy
“[A Grotesque in the Garden] manages to blend the deeply spiritual and personal needs we all have with the ways in which our intellectual reflections can sometimes exacerbate our already fraught condition. It also reminds us that we can learn from one another, and even from fictional characters like Tesque and Naphil, if we would just enter honestly into such deeply personal discussions. While those can be harder to do with real people, the lessons learned from this engaging book can help even philosophers do them better.”
— Jeffrey E. Brower in Journal of Analytic Theology
This is a delightful book. In terms of genre, it defies easy classification. But like Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, it is at once a gripping story of imaginative fiction, incorporating elements of history, myth, and allegory, as well as a deep and penetrating reflection on the problem of evil and the goodness of God.”
— Helen de Cruz in Religious Studies
“[A Grotesque in the Garden] allows for an exploration of philosophical space in a new register and encourages open-mindedness. It also brings an emotional dimension to philosophy of religion that is often lacking in academic writing.”