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The Novel, Spirituality and Modern Culture

Eight Novelists write about their Craft and their Context

If, as contributor Donna Tartt writes, ‘the novel in its history and genesis is an emphatically secular art form: the product of a secular society, addressing primarily secular concerns’, how can there be any relationship between spirituality and narrative fiction? Are there any specific factors in the form of the novel and in modern culture generally which might make the novel an unsuitable medium for the exploration of religious experience and spiritual values, or can the novel take the reader on a journey of spiritual discovery?

In this book, practitioners of the art of novel-writing – Donna Tartt, Jill Paton Walsh, David McLaurin, Sara Maitland, Catherine Fox, Susan Howatch, T. Davis Bunn and William Horwood – consider the relationship between the novel and spirituality in our society, while an introductory essay by the editor, Paul S. Fiddes, discusses the main issues to emerge from the collection.

Originally given as public lectures between 1997 and 1999, the essays collected in The Novel, Spirituality and Modern Culture provide exciting and thought-provoking reflections upon creativity, freedom and human destiny within the context of (post) modern culture, as well as being first hand testimony to the experience of creative writing.

161 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Religion, Culture, and Society

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
1  Introduction: the novel and the spiritual journey today
    Paul S. Fiddes
Part I  Analyses
2   The spirit and writing in a secular world
     Donna Tartt
3   The blizzard of circumstance: writing and moral discovery
     Jill Paton Walsh
4   The dark night of the novel in an age of weak faith
     David McLaurin
5   Religious experience and the novel: a problem of genre and culture
     Sara Maitland
Part II  Witnesses
6   ‘Telling the old, old story’: God and the novelist as creators
     Catherine Fox
7   A Question of Integrity: stories and the meaning of wholeness
     Susan Howatch
8   ‘Christian fiction’ in American society: a defence of a despised genre
     T. Davis Bunn
9   The novel and the safe journey of healing
     William Horwood

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