1st Edition

The Bible and Literature: The Basics

By Norman W. Jones Copyright 2016
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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



    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.