HART The Dream-Child's Progress cover

The Dream-Child’s Progress

and Other Essays

David Bentley Hart

By turns champion of the Christian difference and voice of dissent; friend to Moley and Water Rat and scourge to those of scientistic bent—these are but a few of the many guises of David Bentley Hart, whose books, essays, and reviews over the past twenty years have established him as one of America’s foremost theologians, critics, and men of letters.

Few have escaped Hart’s withering scrutiny, as he has exploded comfortable attitudes of believers and unbelievers alike. Here he turns his vital, and at times acerbic, pen to matters of truly high import: books and authors—and in so doing ranges far and wide across our intellectual landscape. Writing on everything from Alice to Zen, here are meditations on culture, theology, and politics; on words, sports, and nature.

Disarming, insightful, illuminating—and often wickedly funny—the essays in The Dream-Child’s Progress give evidence of the great gift we have in Hart: a Christian intellectual engaging our world with warmth, candor, and clarity—but most of all, with charity.

Praise for The Dream-Child’s Progress

“David Bentley Hart’s advocacy of remote literary treasures and lingering cultural mysteries will surely do much to offset the terrible reputation our universe must enjoy among the inhabitants of other dimensions. No more successful cosmic sales-pitch could be imagined.”

— JOHN MILBANK, University of Nottingham

“David Hart is a national treasure. Like an ecologist lovingly displaying the beauty of a rare plant, or pinpointing where to find the real contribution of, or cure for, an invasive shrub, Hart masterfully guides us into the many ways in which humans attempt to express the intricacy and mystery of reality.”

— MATTHEW LEVERING, Mundelein Seminary, University of St. Mary of the Lake

“A journey through the mind of David Bentley Hart is always a great and glorious adventure no superlative can describe and no summary encapsulate. Perhaps, then, the highest praise one can lavish on The Dream Child’s Progress is to say it is not altogether unlike another journey undertaken with the guidance of Hart’s beloved Lewis Carroll: it gets curiouser and curiouser with each wonderful essay.”

— MICHAEL HANBY, Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Catholic University of America

“David Bentley Hart is an indispensable voice—brilliant, learned, arch, and pitiless. This far-ranging collection is quintessential Hart, by turns provocative and hilarious. I learn something unexpected from nearly every essay.”

— KYLE HARPER, University of Oklahoma

“This volume is a nest holding many fine jewels. Once again, Hart has shown that he is the best writer on religion (and all things attendant) in America today.”

— CONOR CUNNINGHAM, University of Nottingham

“These essays of David Hart, mostly on books and authors, glow with delight in the most human of things: storytelling, religion, truth, entertainment, being alone, other people—and the mystery of language. David Hart is a master. If you have not read him, you must.”

— AARON RICHES, Seminario Mayor San Cecilio, Granada, Spain

About the Author

David Bentley Hart

David Bentley Hart is currently a fellow of the Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study, and the author of The Beauty of the Infinite and The Experience of God, among many other books.