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Christian Lehnert

Out Towards the Inward - Of the Angels and Powers

(German title: Ins Innere hinaus)
ca. 234 pages
Clothbound
2020
Christian Lehnert
Foto: Christian Lehnert
© Frank Höhler

Christian Lehnert, born 1969 in Dresden, studied theology, religious studies and Middle Eastern studies in Leipzig, Berlin and Jerusalem. He then worked as a pastor near Dresden.

Since 2012, he has been head of the Department for Liturgy Studies of the United Protestant-Lutheran Church of Germany at the University of Leipzig. He is a member of the Saxony’s Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy for Sciences and Literature in Mainz.

He has been awarded various prizes and grants, including:
Hölty-Prize for poetry 2012
Hugo-Ball-Prize 2005
Berlin Art Prize 2003
Lessing-Prize 2003

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»Can ›angels‹ be described? Each of their depictions has the form of a question: How can I bring something other into language without riddling language with meaninglessness or suffocating the other in the grasp of the words?«

About

A »story of the invisible world on single pages« – poet and theologian Christian Lehnert has nothing less in mind for this book. The starting point for his thoughts are nature spirits and lower deities, dualistic notions of angels and demons, the formation of divine hierarchies, border crossings between this world and the other side with mysterious intellectual contraband in tow.

Gnosis, kabbalah and visions feature just as modern psychological techniques. From the so-called ›factual‹ side of reality, however, appear analogies of seeing apparitions in philosophical thought and in the natural sciences. The underlying question is: How can the numinous become a progressive power today, in a post-secular world, which subverts and liquefies the predominant, seemingly firmly joined worldviews? Lehnert follows the small fractures in the solid stratums of religious or scientific, liberal or secular worldviews, searching for those fractures through which doubt enters, where the forgotten axioms of ›precision‹ and the brittleness of their opinions shine.

How does one depict such things? Conceptual thinking, poetic image and narration, autobiographical elements and speculation oscillate into one another in the individual texts, illuminating each other. A flexible form of writing sets in: seeking speech that feels its way into the ineffable. That way, fragments of a confession gather – always from the starting and reference point of the own life made of and without fictions – as »pages« in very different pitches. As a whole, they maintain the form of a question.

Praise

»both spiritually and intellectually stimulating« Michael Wolf, Der Tagesspiegel

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