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Literature and Theology Current Issue

Published: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2017 12:49:24 GMT


‘Ni Avec Toi, Ni Sans Toi’: The Deconsecration of the Grail in Julien Gracq


In 1938, Julien Gracq wrote Au château d’Argol, a novel that had the theme of Perceval and the Grail running through it like a seam of ore. Despite Gracq’s own lack of faith, he cleverly used the Grail’s Christian connotations for their power and mystery. Two years later, in 1940, in his play Le roi pêcheur, he felt compelled to purge that same theme of every Christian implication. This article undertakes to explain the role of the second World War and the Vichy administration in that artistic decision.

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion . Edited by Mark Knight


The Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion. Edited by KnightMark. London/New York: Routledge, 2016. xvi + 464pp. Hardback, £150.00. ISBN 978-0-415-83405-6.

Reading Religion: Chivalry in the Alliterative Morte Arthure as an Instance of Cultural Negotiation


Examining chivalry as it is represented in the Alliterative Morte Arthure, I set out to show how literature often functions as a cultural negotiating ground upon which one can ask the question: what is religion and how does it function within society?

George Eliot and the Anglican Reader


Eliot uses Anglican frameworks for her representation of Dissenters, Catholics and Jews. These frameworks are variously explicit, implied and found in the general form of Eliot's depiction of religion in the space of literature. While Eliot appears to favour a tempered, socially practical Anglicanism, these frameworks probably tell us little about Eliot's own views on religion. They do however highlight the literary techniques that Eliot used to represent religion as a difficult and ever shifting relation between enthusiasm, egoism and ethics.

The Sacred Space Within: Toward a Psychology of Religion in C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces


Based on Jung’s psychological theory and the Christian perspective that predominates Lewis’ imagination, this article explores a psychology of religion manifested in Lewis’ work through investigating the protagonist’s psychic process toward self-growth in personality and spirituality. In this mythic novel, the real space for the human being to “see” the truth of selfhood and transcendence is located within the psyche, the very “sacred space” for the meeting of the self with the divine.

The Ambiguities of Creatureliness: From Hamann to Celan


This article relates the post-war Jewish poet Paul Celan's notion of creatureliness to the narrative of the Fall as modulated by the preromantic philosopher J. G. Hamann, conceived not as transcendental spirit's fall from self-presence into the temporal, material world, but rather as an alienating process taking place in language itself, making creation hostage to instrumental reason. The article traces the influence of Hamann's poetics of attentiveness on the language theories of Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger, and shows how Celan is both fascinated by and engages critically with the idea of poetry as a “pure” performative, pre-lapsarian language of revelation.

Reading, Feminism, and Spirituality: Troubling the Waves . By Dawn Llewellyn


Reading, Feminism, and Spirituality: Troubling the Waves. By LlewellynDawn. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Hardcover, £58.00/$95.00. ISBN: 9781137549952.

Cynical Mysticism: The Role of Fairies in Late-Victorian Esotericism


Throughout the esoteric literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, there is a frequent confluence of ritual magic and occultism with belief in the fairies at the bottom of the garden. At first glance, such a pairing may seem peculiar, even somewhat ridiculous; on closer inspection, this affinity seems to rise from cynicism about the modern world. Examining works by Arthur Conan Doyle, W.B. Yeats, and the surprising influence of George MacDonald on A.E. Waite, this article discusses how a profound cynicism may underlie the apparent desire to believe in fairies.

The Monster at the Centre of the Universe: Christ as Spectacle in Mass and English Civic Drama


The medieval construction of Christ’s monstrosity and the spectacle he presents are radically different from modern ones which create and maintain a space between viewer and viewed. The eucharist and civic plays minimise the distance between viewer and monstrous Other by drawing the monstrous self into the Other, and the Other into the self. The York Christ’s injunction to ‘behold and feel’ resonates with the eucharist’s emphasis on seeing and eating; they encourage contact with the monstrous Other in one’s own heart and body. They are ‘subjunctive’ spectacles, indicating not only what is, but subordinating action to emotion. Like the verbal mood which expresses how one feels about a statement or action, eucharist and civic drama urge affective engagement with the moment of monstrosity.