Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis is a study of Come Sweet Death: A Quartet from Genesis, by B. Davie Napier, Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Religion at Stanford University. The Quartet is made up of four sermon-poems in modern poetry to be included in Dr. Napier’s forthcoming book, Come Sweet Death: A Quartet from Genesis, (Philadelphia: United Church Press, 1967). Each is designed to be delivered as a sermon, and is approximately the customary twenty minutes in length. The units are titled “The Garden”, “The Brothers”, “The Flood”, and “The Tower”. Each contains a passage of scripture and ten poems. A copy of the Quartet is appended. The inquiry follows a plan of evaluation based on the following questions: (1) what did Dr. Napier try to do? (2) How well did he do it? (3) Was it worth doing? It includes a commentary on the Old Testament in Come Sweet Death, looks at political and social problems the Quartet raises, considers the implications for twentieth century religious thought, and evaluates Come Sweet Death as literature by examining the allusions and other poetic techniques employed in the poetry of the sermons. A conclusion is reached that this is a unique piece of writing which successfully conveys ancient biblical stories in today’s idiom in poetry.


Dr. Samuel J. Sackett

Date of Award

Summer 1967

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1967 Mary Elizabeth Gunn


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