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Spiritual Identities

Literature and the Post-Secular Imagination


Jo Carruthers and Andrew Tate

This collection of essays considers the return of the religious in contemporary literary studies. In the twenty-first century it is now possible to detect a new sacred ‘turn’ in thought and writing. For some writers, this post-secular identity plays itself out in both a recuperation of religious traditions (Catholicism, Puritanism, Judaism) and a re-invention of the religious imaginary (apophaticism, messianism, apocalypticism, fundamentalism). In literary studies, the implications of the post-secular are revitalizing critical engagement with canonical works and fuelling the reclaiming of neglected writings as questions of the construction of spiritual identities come once again to the fore.
Contents: Gavin D’Costa: Preface – Arthur Bradley/Jo Carruthers/Andrew Tate: Introduction: Writing Post-Secularity – Sara Maitland: ‘Never Enough Silence’: Conflicts Between Spiritual and Literary Creativity – Nancy Jiwon Cho: The Liminal Spiritual Identity of Susanna Harrison (1752-1784) – Brian Ingram: Evangelicalism and Religious Crisis: The Experience of George Eliot – Simon Marsden: A Spiritual Geography of Wuthering Heights – Emma Mason: Sensibility into Sense: Barbauld, Hemans and Religious Commitment – Andy Mousley: Spiritual Humanisms – David M. Buyze: Identity, Interiority and Snow – Mary McCampbell: Consumer in a Coma: Douglas Coupland’s Rewriting of the Contemporary Apocalypse – Nicole M. Gyulay: ‘Multiplicity Destroyed by Singularity’: Salman Rushdie and Religious Hybridity – Sarah Wood: Controlling the Word: Authority and Exegesis in Octavia Butler’s Parables – Anna Hartnell: Israel under the Shadow of the Holocaust in David Grossman’s See Under: Love: A Post-Religious National Entity? – William Kupersmith/Jan S. Waples: Sex and Satanism in Susan Howatch’s The High Flyer and The Heartbreaker – John Russell: ‘Call God Jouissance’: Sara Maitland and the Moral Psychotic.