Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Scholarship is always produced in community, and I am deeply thankful to be part of a wonderful community of teacher-scholars at Baylor University. I offer my thanks especially to my Baylor colleagues Andrew Wisely, David Lyle Jeffrey, and Ralph Wood for their...

Part 1. Theory and Context

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1. From Moral Character to the Ethical Self

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pp. 3-20

When teenager Briony Tallis, the central figure in Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement, submits the first draft of her novella to the new literary magazine, Horizon, she thinks the following about novelistic form:
What excited her about her achievement was its design, the pure geometry...

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2. Theory: Puritanism, the Bible, the Novel, Modernism

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pp. 21-60

Typology as a hermeneutical practice was the foundation of what seemed a unified worldview for the early modern Puritans.¹ It was a mode of reading applied to interpreting just about everything: the Bible, other written texts, history, the natural world, and the moral and spiritual...

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3. Historical Context: The Legacy of Puritanism in the Late Nineteenth Century

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pp. 61-80

To many early modernists, Puritanism had thoroughly infiltrated English society and culture and negatively shaped the historical trajectory of England as a nation. Their reaction to Puritanism in the novel is inextricably tied to their reaction to Puritanism in their own context...

Part 2. Puritanism in Four Early Modernist Novels

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4. Reading and Hegelian Tragedy in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

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pp. 83-108

Writing in one of his autobiographies about what he called the “tragic generation” of the 1880s and 1890s, W. B. Yeats asks: “Why are these strange souls born everywhere today, with hearts that Christianity, as shaped by history, cannot satisfy?”¹ Yeats identifies a tendency...

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5. The Renaissance of the Self in E.M. Forster's A Room with a View

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pp. 109-133

When discussing A Room with a View in his E. M. Forster: A Study (1943), Lionel Trilling mentions that “the feeling against religion in this novel is naïve and direct and makes a small sub-plot” (109). This view has never been seriously challenged.¹ A Room with a...

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6. The Metaethical Self: Nietzsche and Joyce

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pp. 134-157

The reception of Friedrich Nietzsche’s texts and ideas in England is a fascinating history that centers on questions of religion and morality.¹ Suffice it to say, Nietzsche abhorred England, and many Englishmen abhorred Nietzsche. He hated English culture and its lack of...

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7. "I Leave It to You": Church, State, and Morality in Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier

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pp. 158-190

Ford Madox Ford’ s The Good Soldier has always been viewed as a novel that masterfully dramatizes epistemological uncertainty. Dowell appears to have the exact experience lauded by new ethical theorists: he is brought face to face with “unknowability” and has uncomfortably...

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8. Conclusion

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pp. 191-202

Modernism in large part is a reaction against Puritanism. Modernist novelists reacted against both Puritan Christianity, which assumes the presence of an inner conscience in the human subject and the reality of a universal moral order governed by God; and Puritan social...

Works Cited

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pp. 203-210

Index

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pp. 211-218

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Other Titles in the Series

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pp. 219-219

Literature, Religion, and Postsecular Studies publishes scholarship on the influence of religion on literature and of literature on religion from the sixteenth century onward. Books in the series include studies of religious rhetoric or allegory; of the secularization of religion, ritual, and religious life; and of the emerging identity of postsecular studies and literary...

Back Cover

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