Examining the roots of the relationship between literature and theology, this book offers the first serious attempt to probe the deep theological purposes of the study of literature. Through an exploration of themes of evil, forgiveness, sacrament and what it means to be human, David Jasper draws from international research and discussions on literature and theology and employs an historical and profoundly personal journey through the later part of the last century up to the present time. Combining fields such as bible and literature, poetry and sacrament, this book sheds new light on how Christian theology seeks to remain articulate in our global, secular and multi-faith culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction: the study of Literature and Theology - a history since 1982. Part I The Durham Conferences: Humanism and belief in literature: seeking a grammar of assent; A habit of mind: religion and imagination - John Coulson and John Henry Newman; Making the world bearable: Ulrich Simon; Choosing commitment: Martin Jarrett-Kerr; Finding the otherness of God in literature: Werner G. Jeanrond. Part II The Loss of and the Return to Theology: ‘A tone born out of a world of ruins’: Robert Detweiler; Returning to theology: Nijmegen, 2000; Seeking forgiveness and retrieving a theological sense of being human: Leuven, 2014. Part III Themes and the Wider World: Poetry: the poetry of the Oxford Movement; Sacrament: the Eucharistic body; The Bible: the Bible as literature - Parergon; Europe and Australia: new worlds; Europe and China: old worlds meet. Part IV Conclusions: Becoming innocent again: looking back on theory in literature and theology; Conclusion: Prospero’s books
The Revd.Professor David Jasper is Professor of Literature and Theology, University of Glasgow, UK and Distinguished Overseas Professor, Renmin University of China, Beijing. He was Principal of St. Chad’s College, Durham University, and holds degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, and Uppsala universities. He was the founding Editor of the Oxford journal Literature and Theology, and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology. His recent books in the field of literature and theology include the trilogy The Sacred Desert (2004), The Sacred Body (2009) and The Sacred Community (2012). He has been an ordained Anglican priest for nearly forty years.