At some point, everyone has seen the validity of the old saw “Never judge a book by its cover.” Readers of Michael D. Hurley’s new book Faith in Poetry: Verse Style as a Mode of Religious Belief might add the caveat: don’t judge a book by its title, either.1 Readers might reasonably approach Hurley’s book with the expectation of a synoptic study of religious poetry, or with the expectation of a specific argument regarding the nexus of the religious and the aesthetic in poetry at large, or with the expectation of a broad thesis pertaining to theology and prosody. These readers will be either disappointed or pleasantly surprised by the book itself. As Hurley notes, “This...


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