As we enter the season of religious holidays, I wanted to flag up the two new titles we’ve just published in what’s fast becoming one of my favourite series here at Continuum: New Directions in Religion and Literature.
The first book is England’s Secular Scripture by Jo Carruthers of the University of Bristol, UK. Ranging from Spenser and Milton, through to Wordsworth, Hardy, Eliot and Orwell, this book explores the development of a “Protestant aesthetic” in English literary history and its contribution to English identity (particular in relation to its “others”, notably Islam). It’s a really fascinating read on an important topic.
Lori Branch of the University of Iowa read an advanced copy of the book and responded: “Carruthers’ volume shows the vitality of the new religion and literature and all it has to offer to mainstream English studies. If this is the harbringer of post-secular scholarship, give me more.”
The second book – out in the new year so we don’t have a preview up yet – takes a look at Victorian Parables. The Victorian novel is often regarded as golden age of the English realist novel, exemplified by such writers as Charles Dickens and Charlotte Yonge. In this book, Susan E. Colón of Baylor University, USA investigates the often neglected presence and influence of familiar biblical parables in these supposedly realist texts. The book looks at the ways in which many of these writers alluded to, appropriated and played with such familiar parables as the story of the good Samaritan, the prodigal son and Lazarus and the rich man.
You can find out more about the book (which publishes in February) here and I’ll post the free preview when we get it!
Happy Christmas All (and a Merry New Year)!
Continuum Literary Studies