The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic
Editor: Deborah Bowen
Date Of Publication: Apr 2007
Contemporary Christian critique often talks about postmodernism apocalyptically, in terms of cultural crisis and decline; instead, the contributors to this volume believe that there is a new place for Christian entrées on the academic Smorgasbord of postmodernity, and they see the postmodern turn as an opportunity for fresh perspectives on the spiritual dimensions of reading literature. These twenty scholars are an eclectic group, differing in theological and theoretical commitments, but all identifying as Christian. In this collection they enter into dialogue with a wide range of contemporary literary theorists and theoretical perspectives, and offer new readings of primary texts informed by both these theoretical constructs and their Christian faith.
"The manuscript strikes out in important new directions in its sympathetic reading of postmodern theory from a Christian perspective, and, even more significantly, in its careful and measured dialogic approach to the relationship of Christian thought and contemporary literary theory."
Daniel Coleman, Canada Research Chair in Critical Ethnicity and Race Studies, Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
"Too often Christian literary critics and theologians have preemptively dismissed postmodern theory, even as secular critics have been equally dismissive about the contributions that the Christian faith tradition makes to the study of literature. This volume successfully brings these two worlds together in innovative, at times challenging, and always rich ways.
I do not know of a similar volume in existence, a work that gathers in one convenient publication a wide-ranging set of discussions of contemporary literary theory by Christian scholars. The editor has gathered an impressive and important set of papers here, and I believe the volume will raise much interest and provoke a good deal of constructive debate."
Susan VanZanten Gallagher, Professor of English, Director, Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, Seattle Pacific University
Deborah C. Bowen is Associate Professor of English at Redeemer University College. She has published on a number of contemporary writers, including Anita Brookner (Mosaic), John Fowles (Journal of Narrative Technique, Christianity and Literature), Alice Munro (Studies in Canadian Literature), Michael Ondaatje (World Literature Written in English), John Terpstra (Literature and Theology), and Bharati Mukherjee (Ariel), and she regularly reviews Canadian poetry.
...this volume's greatest strengths are its clear, introductory level expositions of Derrida, Althusser, Foucault, de Certeau, Bahktin and other important figures, with some excellent essays on specific authors...this collection would be useful to a literary theory class in a Christian liberal arts envirnoment.
James Rovira ofTiffin University, Christianity and Literature, Vol 58, Issue 2, Winter 2009.
"...the reader can rest assured that without exception the quality of the scholarship in the...essays is high; each of the contributors has indwelled his or her subject deeply."
Christopher Dorn, The Glass, No. 22, Spring 2010
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)