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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter makes the case for integrating theory and theology in our reading of Bunyan as fruitful for a deeper understanding of his works and as exemplary of the potential of emerging post-secular criticism. By taking up the thematic of faith in Grace Abounding (1666), The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), and select works by Jacques Derrida, it shows how these texts illuminate faith as faith—not faith reconstituted as knowledge—as an inherent part of the linguistic condition. It claims that the particular mode of Bunyan’s literary recasting of the epistemological uncertainty faced in Grace Abounding into the fantasy form of The Pilgrim’s Progress suggests the contours of a larger understanding of the significance of fantasy fiction for Anglophone Protestant Christianity in modernity: that is, that fantasy fiction is where a spirituality that has imagined faith as knowledge embodies the fuller truth of its status as faith.

Keywords: Grace Abounding, The Pilgrim’s Progress, theology, post-secular criticism, Jacques Derrida, faith, knowledge, uncertainty, fantasy fiction

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