Faith in Fiction: The Emergence of Religious Literature in America
The first full-length study of early religious fiction from the Revolution to the Civil War, this book explores a long forgotten genre of writing. Ranging over the fiction of some 250 American writers, Reynolds provides an overview of the bestsellers of their time and the popular culture of the period. The literary movement he traces began as a cautiously allegorical one, and he finds that it evolved into a fairly realistic genre by the mid-nineteenth century. This shift from the metaphysical to the earthly was abetted by the authors' uses of a variety of appealing modes: the oriental and visionary tale, historical fiction on biblical themes, and the domestic novel.
Reynolds' study addresses several questions: When did religion first appear in American fiction, and why was the novel increasingly chosen as the appropriate literary mode of popular inspiration? How could theology become entertainment? In what sense does the rhetorical strategy of this fiction reflect changing ways of religious discussion? How can the sermons, essays, or memoirs of the early writers help us to understand the themes and techniques of their fiction?
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Review: Faith In Fiction: The Emergence Of Religious Literature In AmericaUser Review - Goodreads
Reynolds will introduce you to religious fiction you've never heard of (but may not have ever missed). However, I really wanted him to define his terms a bit more (like "post-Calvinist," for example ... Read full review
Doctrinal and Illustrative Fiction
Debunkers and Extenders
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The Unusable Past: Theory and the Study of American Literature
Russell J. Reising
No preview available - 1986