– Western Literature and the Death of God (lecture at Moscow State Linguistic University)
– Fictional Absence (a revised PhD thesis), 94K words
– Chronicles of Heaven Unshackled (Lewis and Tolkien, fantasists), 101K words
Here’s a quick explanation of the studies in this folder.
There aren’t all that many books in print looking at English literature from a Biblical-Christian perspective, and fewer still about the English novel. And that’s in spite of the fact that all around the world there are lots of Christian students studying English novels (and lots of people reading them who aren’t students, too.)
My own experience doing two degrees on English literature, coming at it from a Biblical-Christian perspective, was that all too often I had to find my own way. That was partly because of writers I hadn’t discovered, no doubt. Nevertheless, I still haven’t encountered too much material covering the kind of issues examined in the studies in this folder. That’s why they’re here.
So, I hope they may save you some time, and that also the references will point you towards some other useful sources. ’Fictional Absence’ is a fairly lightly-edited version of a doctoral thesis completed quite a while ago. ‘Quite a while’ actually means in the days before MSWord-compatible word processing, and getting it converted to Word has left some cosmetic anomalies that I haven’t had the time to sort out entirely. But also it’s not up to speed with all the most recent criticism of the writers it covers. Nonetheless, judging by conversations I’ve had with people from various cultures about these issues, I hope it might still be of some use to a few people at least.
‘Chronicles of Heaven Unshackled’ is a discussion of fantasy writing, and in particular the work of C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien.
For a survey of the worldviews in literature more generally and how they have reflected the various phases of British cultural/spiritual development, see Chapter 6 of my A Long Way East of Eden, Authentic, 2002.
If you think it might be helpful to people you know, please feel free to pass it on. (Obviously the author would like still to be credited!)
The Christian Literary Studies Group in association with the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship