Concerning Bernard Malamud:
"Whatever hunger for faith existed within him," his daughter writes, "he had transformed it into a belief in the sanctity of literature."Adam Nicolson writes in the Guardian:
Every age has its own heresies, Pelikan says, and ours seems "especially vulnerable to an aestheticism that finds the ultimate mystery of transcendence in the beauty of art and music, which have the magical capacity to transport us into an otherworldly realm without calling us to account for our sins in the presence of the holy God and the righteous Judge of all mankind".
We modern, half-non-believing aesthetes, who ooh and aah over the words of the Bible, gushing over their exquisite beauty, are, he says, like people who stand admiring a shiny set of dentist's instruments. Until, that is, the drills and knives are set to work. "Then all of a sudden the reaction changes from 'How beautiful they are!' to 'Get that damned thing out of my mouth!'"