Baylor University Press

Studies in Christianity & Literature

Roger Lundin

Published by: Baylor University Press

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Invisible Conversations

Religion in the Literature of America

Rober Lundin, editor

American literature offers exceptional resources for understanding the complex role religion has played in the life of the culture and in the experience of its people. In recent decades, however, the academic study of that literature has largely treated religion, in the words of a noted scholar, as an"invisible domain."In joining the rich conversations that have enlivened American culture for centuries, Invisible Conversations seeks to bring to light the vital role that religion has played in the literature of the United States.

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T.S. Eliot and the Essay

G. Douglas Atkins

G. Douglas Atkins here offers an original consideration of T. S. Eliot’s essay as a form of embodied thinking. A combination of literature and philosophy, the genre of the essay holds within itself a great tension—that between truth and creative prose. And, as Atkins explains, these conflicting forces of truth and creativity exist not only within the literary format itself but also within the writers and their relationships with the genre, making essay writing a wonderfully enriching “impure art.”

Exploring the similarities between Eliot’s prose and poetry with the art of essay writing, Atkins discovers remarkably similar patterns of Incarnational thinking that emerge in each. In so doing, he establishes for the first time the essayistic nature of the great poem Four Quartets and provides an eloquent reflection on how the essay in all its impurity functions as Incarnational art, an embodiment of truth.

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