Ethics, Literature, and Theory: An Introductory Reader

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Stephen K. George
Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 401 pages
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Ethics, Literature, and Theory: An Introductory Reader brings together the work of contemporary scholars, teachers, and writers into lively discussion on the moral role of literature and the relationship between aesthetics, art, and ethics. Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon contribute to literary criticism? What do we mean when we talk about ethical criticism and how does this differ from the common notion of censorship? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions including: literary theorists Marshall Gregory, James Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections among literature, religion and philosophy.
  

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Contents

Ethical Criticism and Literary Theory
1
Premises on Art and Morality
3
The Moral Connections of Literary Texts
11
Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple
23
Ethical Criticism What It Is and Why It Matters
37
Against Ethical Criticism
63
Who Is Responsible in Ethical Criticism?
79
The Absence of the Ethical Literary Theory and Ethical Theory
99
Imaginative Writing and the Jewish Experience
219
The Problem of Evil in Fiction
225
Poetry Politics and Morality
231
Art and Ethics?
239
What Violence in Literature Must Teach Us
241
Ethics and Literature
251
Readers and Ethical Criticism
263
The Case against Huck Finn
265

Evaluative Discourse A New Turn toward the Ethical
107
The Moral and the Aesthetical Literary Study and the Social Order
115
Philosophy Religion and Literature
129
Reading for Life
131
The Ancient Quarrel Literature and Moral Philosophy
139
Stories and Morals
153
The Absence of Stories Filling the Void in Ethics
165
Literature and the Catholic Perspective
173
Literature and Protestantism
181
Something to Measure By Quaker Values in Literature
189
Literary Criticism and Religious Values
197
Writers Responsibilities
211
A Writers Duty
213
The Writers Moral Sense
215
Why We Still Need Huckleberry Finn
273
Huckleberry Finn An Amazing Troubling Book
279
The Ethical Dimensions of Richard Wrights Native Son
289
Sethes Choice Beloved and the Ethics of Reading
299
Steinbeck Johnson and the MasterSlave Relationship
315
Censorship and the Classroom
329
Notes
339
Glossary
369
Selected Bibliography
377
Permissions
379
Index
383
About the Contributors
397
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Stephen K. George is professor of English at Brigham Young University-Idaho.

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