Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

See inside

Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:Subjects & Themes / Inspirational & Religious
  • Language:English
  • Pages:112
  • eBook ISBN:9781667850337
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667850320

A Beautiful Absurdity

Christian Poetry of the Sacred

by Alan Altany Ph.D.

View author's profile page

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

See inside


"A Beautiful Absurdity" is for all who find the great questions and mysteries of the human experience to be ultimately compelling. The poetry found within the pages of this book is a meditation on the radically transformative teachings and beliefs of Christian faith in today's ambiguous, secular societies. Themes such as pain, love, fear, faith, doubt, death, and hope are faced directly and in a contemplative way. 


The knowledge and experience of God and the sacred are deemed central for purpose, value, meaning, redemption, and joy. While the poetry is Christian-based and this book is primarily intended for a Christian readership, people of other spiritual faiths, or no religious faith at all, will find new ways to look at what is meant by God, Jesus Christ, faith and the sacred in an age of profane consciousness and culture. The ideas and ideals of the Christian faith can be integrated into one's life, and each poem offers a fresh perspective at pursuing a life filled with purpose, value, and joy. The holy absurdity and strangeness of the Christian vision is provocatively presented through a counter-intuitive use of language, metaphors, and images. The reader is challenged to not only experience original insights, but to have what is familiar become strangely new and meaningful.

About the author

Dr. Alan Altany has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Catholic theology, and a Ph.D. in religious studies (University of Pittsburgh). Before his academic career as a college and university professor and director of professional faculty development, he worked as a high school and parish religious educator, factory and lawn maintenance worker, farm worker, hotel clerk, etc. He continues to teach (Comparative Religions) on a part-time basis and both wants and needs to write poetry. He has also written two novels dealing with spiritual quest and Christian mysticism. As a young man, Dr. Altany published and edited a small magazine of poetry entitled The Beggar's Bowl. Now in his older age, he hopes the present time of his life is the most creative, original, and fruitful so far, as poet, person, and follower of Christ. His writing is done with the always nearby companionship of his golden retriever, Zeke, whose life of love and play daily reminds Dr. Altany that love and bliss are our purpose and destiny.