Theology After Reading explores how recent novelists, alongside certain post-War Christian theologians, appear to be challenging, inverting, reinterpreting, and sometimes even affirming, the basic questions and answers of more traditional theologians. Focusing on five novels, Darren Middleton's book illustrates how literary art provokes theological reflection. Examining Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, Toni Morrison's Sula, Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ, Earl Lovelace's The Wine of Astonishment, and Paul Thigpen's My Visit to Hell, Middleton deftly illuminates the expression of both mainstream and progressive Christian doctrines as themes in these selected works of fiction, ultimately reaffirming the graced search for meaning in the mindful Christian life.
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|Publisher:||Baylor University Press|
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About the Author
Darren J. N. Middleton (Ph.D. The University of Glasgow, Scotland) is Associate Professor of Literature and Theology at Texas Christian University. He has published five books, including Broken Hallelujah: Nikos Kazantzakis and Christian Theology (2007).
Table of Contents
It’s Fiction: What’s Theology Got to Do with It?
Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair
Toni Morrison’s Sula
Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ
Earl Lovelace’s The Wine of Astonishment
Paul Thigpen’s My Visit to Hell
Appendix I: An Interview with Paul Thigpen
Appendix II: Further Reading
What People are Saying About This
An exemplary, inspiring exploration of what the author calls "the interface of theology and literature." Deeply learned in both the Christian theological tradition and the five, widely variegated literary artists under consideration, Middleton impressively combines careful textual and contextual analysis of their writings. Skillfully and informatively annotated, the book is wonderfully capped off by its "Appendix" consisting of Middleton’s extensive interview with Thigpen.
Darren Middleton is in love with stories and the challenge fiction poses to what we too confidently think of as reality. He knows that the best theology is always a story in the making. He also knows that narratives open up worlds that bring God to life, sometimes by the hint of divine presence, sometimes by the sorrow of absence.
Here is a wonderfully fresh invitation from a gifted writer to explore the storied worlds of great literary theology.
In this stimulating and often inspiring book on the interface between fiction and theology, Darren Middleton shows how a variety of novels marked by "a graced search for meaning," provoke imaginative theological reflection on traditional Christian doctrines. Middleton extends a hermeneutics of love to carefully chosen novels, reading them on their own terms. This book should appeal well beyond the Christian community because of its exemplary openness and authentic humility.