The Church and Literature

The Church and Literature

Edited by Peter Clarke, Charlotte Methuen


Ecclesiastical History Society



A wide-ranging and impressive collection which illuminates the enduring relationship between the Church and literary creation.
Christianity and the book have been closely intertwined since the religion's very beginning. The Word itself takes a variety of literary forms: apologetic and polemic texts, sermons, poems, hymns, spiritual autobiography and Christian philosophical reflection. Likewise, many genres of novel, theatre and travel-writing often deal with Christian themes. This volume explores some of the ways in which the Church has both shaped and featured in the literature of different periods, with a particular emphasis on British literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The understanding of literature invoked here is a catholic one, reflecting the universality of Christianity itself, and allowing the exploration of a range of forms of writing emerging in the course of the Church's history. Among the authors discussed are Thomas More, John Milton, Isaac Williams, W. E. Heygate, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, Edna Lyall, Silas and Joseph Hocking, Robert Browning, Charles Williams, Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan, Dame Rose Macauley, D. H. Lawrence, W. H. Auden and Ellis Peters. Through this wide-ranging and impressive collection, The Church and Literature illuminates the enduring relationship between the Church and literary creation. Both literary scholars and historians with an interest in Christian culture will find this book invaluable.

PETER CLARKE is Reader in Medieval History at the University of Southampton.

CHARLOTTE METHUEN is Lecturer in Church History at the University of Glasgow.

Contributors: Daniel Anlezark, Clyde Binfield, John Boneham, Philip Broadhead, David Brooks, Renie Choy, Thomas N. Corns, Eamon Duffy, David N. Dumville, Jessica Lee Ehinger, Benjamin L. Fischer, Sarah Foot, Sheridan Gilley, Crawford Gribben, Bernard Hamilton, Colin Haydon, George Herring, Kathleen Jaeger, Oliver Logan, Judith Maltby, Stuart Mews, Katharine K. Olson, George Oppitz-Trotman, W. B. Patterson, Salvador Ryan, Andrew Sanders, Mark Smith, Martin Spence, John Took, Caroline Watkinson, Peter Webster, Martin Wellings, John Wolffe


May 2012
4 black and white illustrations
530 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Studies in Church History
ISBN: 9780954680992
Format: Hardback
Ecclesiastical History Society
BISAC REL033000, LIT004120
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Table of Contents

Seeking Meaning Behind Spistolary Clichés: Intercessory Prayer Clauses in Christian Letters - Renie Choy
Gregory the Great: Reader, Writer and Read - Daniel Anlezark
Was Anyone Listening? Christian Apologetics against Islam as a Literary Genre - Jessica Lee Ehinger
Frivolity and Reform in the Church: The Irish Experience, 1066-1166 - David Dumville
Ecclesiology on the Edge: Dante and the Church - John Took
'No milkless cow': The Cross of Christ in Medieval Irish Literature - Salvador Ryan
'Y Ganrif Fawr'? Piety, Literature and Patronage in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Wales - Katharine Olson
The Biblical Verse of Hans Sachs: The Popularization of Scripture in the Lutheran Reformation - Philip Broadhead
Thomas More's Confutation: A Literary Failure? - Eamon Duffy
Staging Vice and Acting Evil: Theatre and Anti-Theatre in Early Modern England - George Oppitz-Trotman
William Perkins's The Arte of Prophecying: A Literary Manifesto - W B Patterson
Milton's Churches - Thomas Corns
Anti-Catholicism and Obscene Literature: The Case of Mrs. Mary Catherine Cadiere and its Context - Colin Haydon
English Convents in Eighteenth-Century Travel Literature - Caroline Watkinson
A Novel Resistance: Mission Narrative as the Anti-Novel in the Evangelical Assault on British Culture - Benjamin L Fischer
Reserve and Physical Imagery in the Tractarian Poetry of Isaac Williams (1802-65) - John Boneham
W. E. Heygate: Tractarian Clerical Novelist - George Herring
A Writer or a Religious? Lady Georgiana Fullerton's Dilemma - Kathleen Jaeger
Writing the Sabbath: The Literature of the Nineteenth-Century Sunday Observance Debate - Martin Spence
The Pastor Chief and other Stories: Waldensian Historical Fiction in the Nineteenth Century - Mark Smith
The Jesuit as Villain in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction - John Wolffe
Christian Dickens - Andrew Sanders
Disraeli's Novels: Religion and Identity - David Brooks
Breadth from Dissent: Ada Ellen Bayly ('Edna Lyall') and her Fiction - Clyde Binfield
'Pulp Methodism' revisited: The Literature and Significance of Silas and Joseph Hocking - Martin Wellings
Some Popes in English Literature c. 1850-1950 - Bernard Hamilton
Jesuit Pulp fiction: The Serial Novels of Antonio Bresciani in La Civiltà Cattolica - Oliver Logan
Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan, Priest and Novelist - Sheridan W Gilley
'Oh dear, if only the Reformation had happened differently': Anglicanism, the Reformation and Dame Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) - Judith D Maltby
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chamberlain and the Censorship of the Theatre, 1909-49 - Peter Webster
The Trials of Lady Chatterley, the Modernish Bishop and the Victorian Archbishop: Clashes of Class, Cultures and Generations - Stuart Mews
The Cloister and the Crime: Medieval Monks in Modern Murder-Mysteries - Sarah Foot
Piety and Polemic in Evangelical Prophecy Fiction, 1995-2000 - Crawford Gribben


A feast for anyone interested in religious history and a rich storehouse for anyone wishing to read about the latest thinking on any of the topics discussed. CONTEMPORARY REVIEW

This feast of a book takes us outside familiar conventions and offers much needed historical perspective. CHRISTIANITY TODAY

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