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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is virtually impossible to discern the character of western literature apart from its relation to the various forms of Christian tradition, no matter whether this Christian literary presence is central or tangential, affirmative or hostile. Augustine, Dante, Milton, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Hopkins, Joyce, and Eliot are obvious examples. Roughly considered, two kinds Christian theology have been recently employed in making such theological discernments. The first is represented by Paul Tillich and Karl Rahner. It seeks to discern both smaller and larger intersections between Christianity and secularity, detecting the Sacred even in such non-Christian texts as Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses. The second approach is found in Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Their theologies are often employed in making both a prophetic critique and a sacramental reclamation of the Christian Gospel as it is present or absent in such authors as Flannery O’Connor.

Keywords: Christianity, literature (and theology), prophetic, sacred, sacramental, secular, theology

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