The Bible and Literature: The Basics  book cover
1st Edition

The Bible and Literature: The Basics

ISBN 9780415738866
Published November 24, 2015 by Routledge
180 Pages

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Book Description

The Bible and Literature: The Basics provides an interpretive framework for understanding the significance of biblical allusions in literature—even for readers who have little prior knowledge of the Bible. In doing so, it surveys the Bible’s influence on a broad range of English, American, and other Anglophone literatures from a variety of historical periods. It also:

  • offers a "greatest hits" tour of the Bible
  • focuses as much on 20th- and 21st-century literatures as on earlier periods
  • addresses the Bible’s relevance to contemporary issues in literary criticism such as poststructuralist, postcolonial, feminist, queer, and narrative theories
  • includes discussion questions for each chapter and annotated suggestions for further reading

This book explains why readers need a basic knowledge of the Bible in order to understand and appreciate key aspects of Anglophone literary traditions.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Bible as Witness to the Power of Stories

Chapter 1. Wrestling with God: The Bible as an Untellable Tale

Chapter 2. Friends, Family, and Lovers: A Familiar God

Chapter 3. Crime and Punishment

Chapter 4. Unexpected Heroes and Miraculous Recreations

Chapter 5. The Words and Their Afterlives

Conclusion: A Secular Age?

A Note on English Bible Translations

Online Resources

Additional Secondary Sources


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Norman W. Jones is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University. He has published numerous essays and books about the interplay of religion and literature. His work has appeared in top journals such as American Literature, Christianity and Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, and Studies in American Fiction.