View Poll Results: The Power and The Glory: Final Verdict

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  • * Waste of time. Wouldn't recommend

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  • ** Didn't like it much.

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  • *** Average

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  • **** It's a good book

    2 66.67%
  • ***** Liked it very much. Would strongly recommend it.

    1 33.33%
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Thread: January '15 Reading: The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene

  1. #16
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    The title "The Power and the Glory" is from the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever". The Whiskey Priest's offer to hear confession from his forsaken parishioners may not involve HIM actually "forgiving sins as we forgive those who sin against us", but it comes close. It seems to me that TPAG is about duty, and its redeeming qualities. One thing we can all do, if we have courage enough, is our duty -- as an act of will. Our will may fail us at times, leading us into sin, but we can recall our duty and find redemption.

    Of course the Lieutenant is also doing his duty, which complicates the matter.

    Greene has a dim view of Southern Mexico. It's infested with mosquitoes, swamps and vultures in TPAG. I looked up the Grijalva River (mentioned as one of the locations). Here's a picture: http://search.tb.ask.com/search/AJimage.jhtml?&searchfor=Grijalva+River&p2=^AIC^xd m069^YYA^us&n=780d0b69&ss=sub&st=bar&ptb=A0EB9610-2897-48C1-8ABD-9EC1DA815439&si=CLjssbT5tsICFQphfgodTl8AOQ&tpr=sbt &imgsize=all&safeSearch=on&imgDetail=true

    It doesn't look quite as desolate and depressing in the picture as in Greene's depiction; in fact -- surprise, surprise -- it's gorgeous. I've read some of Greene's travel writing and he doesn't appear to like travel, or foreign countries. He dislikes the food, the smells, the bugs and the terrain. This adds to the mood in TPAG, but I wonder if it isn't also Greene's attitude in general.

    The Whiskey Priest is redeemed by his faith in (basically) magic. His power to change the wafer and the wine into the body and blood of Christ comes with his office, and that duty is more important to him than his life.

    I'll discuss the book more once others have read it; I don't think I've offered any actual spoilers here.

  2. #17
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Having problems with the library... Might just buy an e-copy and be done with it. Hoping to start today.

    Love Greene so hoping that this won't be a disappointment.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    The title "The Power and the Glory" is from the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever". .
    Thank you for providing the source for the title of this book. Originally appearing in the New Testament in Matthew's chapter relating The Sermon on The Mount, The Lord's Prayer later became part of the Mass in Roman Catholic liturgy. The "power and the glory" line, however, does not appear in the Roman Catholic version of The Lord's Prayer , though since 1969 has been adopted for another aspect of Catholic ritual.

    Taken from the Doxology (in the Book of Common Prayer), the "Power and the Glory" passage is the conclusion of The Lord's Prayer for many Protestants, as well as included in the hymn. My question is this: as a convert to Roman Catholicism, Graham Greene was well-versed in Catholic liturgy, perhaps more so than those born into the religion. The novel is about religious persecution, specifically eradication of Catholics as represented by its priests. So I do wonder why Greene chose a line, albeit a reverent one, that is more common to Protestants than Catholics.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntShecky View Post
    Thank you for providing the source for the title of this book. Originally appearing in the New Testament in Matthew's chapter relating The Sermon on The Mount, The Lord's Prayer later became part of the Mass in Roman Catholic liturgy. The "power and the glory" line, however, does not appear in the Roman Catholic version of The Lord's Prayer , though since 1969 has been adopted for another aspect of Catholic ritual.

    Taken from the Doxology (in the Book of Common Prayer), the "Power and the Glory" passage is the conclusion of The Lord's Prayer for many Protestants, as well as included in the hymn. My question is this: as a convert to Roman Catholicism, Graham Greene was well-versed in Catholic liturgy, perhaps more so than those born into the religion. The novel is about religious persecution, specifically eradication of Catholics as represented by its priests. So I do wonder why Greene chose a line, albeit a reverent one, that is more common to Protestants than Catholics.
    I guess the simple answer to that no Theological distinction is being made between the two versions of The Lord's Prayer. The prayer's doxology appears in one of the early texts of the Bible, but not in others, so different traditions about the prayer emerged, and Protestants and Catholics ended up choosing differently. But a similar version of the doxology also appears in a very early (late 1st/early 2nd century) Christian treatise called the Didache, which while not Canonical, remains highly regarded by Catholic theologians. And the bottom line is that no Catholic would have a theological problem with the doxology, even if it isn't included at the end of the Lord's Prayer; just as Protestants don't have a problem with the Magnificat, even though they don't say Hail Marys.

    The reason Greene uses The Power and the Glory for his title, in my opinion, is because it was his subject. Although there is a certain irony in his he use of it, he is saying to the reader: This human mess, this weak and sinful man trying to keep it together, failing, only doing his bit in a temporary and ambiguous way, this is what God's power and glory looks like on earth; not like the saint's life that is being read to the boy as the story proceeds; although that "cleaned up" version of affairs, which the Whiskey Priest joins in the end, is a part of the Ecclesiastical tradition that keeps the whole together. I think, that is why the Church condemned the book for being "paradoxical." But I will say more once people have finished to book.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 01-30-2015 at 07:08 PM.

  5. #20
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post

    The reason Greene uses The Power and the Glory for his title, in my opinion is because it was his subject. Although there is a certain irony in his he use of it, he is saying to the reader: This human mess, this weak and sinful man trying to keep it together, failing, only doing his bit in a temporary and ambiguous way, this is what God's power and glory looks like on earth; not like the saint's life that is being read to the boy as the story proceeds; although that "cleaned up" version of affairs, which the Whiskey Priest joins in the end, is a part of the Ecclesiastical tradition that keeps the whole together. I think, that is why the Church condemned the book for being "paradoxical." But I will say more once people have finished to book.
    I haven't finished the book yet but I agree with PB regarding the title of the book and its reference. I think it is ironic that there is no glory in state of humanity and the Power seems non-existent (or keeping itself absent).
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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