Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film
Edited By Julian Ernest Preece, Frank Finlay and Sinéad Crowe
KEITH BULLIVANT - That Old-Time Religion? Thoughts on Patrick Roth’s ‘Resurrection’Trilogy 147
KEITH BULLIVANT That Old-Time Religion? Thoughts on Patrick Roth’s ‘Resurrection’ Trilogy In an interview with Der Spiegel in 2007 Abbot Notker Wolf stated that 1968, which he called the ‘deutsche Kulturrevolution’, had compounded the substitution of reason for religious faith in the French Revolution by, in its turn, now enthroning nature in reason’s stead. He went on: ‘Seither leben wir in einer Welt ohne Gott, ohne Jenseits, ohne Väter und ohne eine vernünft- ige Vorstellung dessen, was Freiheit ist’.1 While I would argue that there are clear signs of a general secularisation of West German literature well before 1968, there is no doubt that after that time West German society in general and literature in particular reflected an increasing lack of interest in religion. It was astonishing, therefore, to find Michael Krüger, a major writer and the managing editor of the Hanser-Verlag, writing in 2003 in the introduction to an anthology of biblical stories retold for today how he regarded the Bible as one of the basic texts of Western civilisation which impressed him in par- ticular by the way its stories were told ‘[mit] welcher Leidenschaft, […] mit welcher Ehrfurcht…’2 Now, this in itself does not necessarily imply a significant increase in religious thinking, but, coming when it did, the volume offered yet another indication that in the course of the 1990s the solid secularism of German lit- erature had been somewhat eroded. In 2005 the critic Hubert Winkels, in an interview about his Gute Zeichen,...
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