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BOOK REVIEWS 669 but does not account either for that absence or the success of those works. In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara fails to find redeeming love, but Davis does not argue that Rhett Butler's famous parting line gives the novel any "fearful power:' And in his examination of four postcolonial texts, Davis also concedes that meaningful redemption is virtually absent (though readers may be surprised when he makes this concession regarding Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner). Finally, Davis concludes that, based on his reading of these four works, "the popularity of this new kind of novel may indicate a cultural shift of tremendous significance, perhaps indicating that many readers no longer expect or hope for any final redemption in their lives" (97). Davis relates this shift to "the move ofwestern society away from religion, and from Christianity in particular:' But how this shift relates to these non-western, postcolonial texts is never established. And given Davis' thesis that "the pattern of creation, fall, and redemption is the foundation of all literature" (emphasis mine), these exceptions, without being adequately accounted for, undermine the book's central argument. In establishing his basic premises in the first chapter, Davis does bring into the discussion theorists and philosophers as varied as Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Tzvetan Todorov, and Terry Eagleton. But he does not present his theory in relation to the work of other scholars exploring the intersection of the Christian faith and the study of literature. Rather, mention of scholars such as Leland Ryken, Ralph Wood, David LyleJeffries, Roger Lundin, and Susan Gallagher occurs only in the book's appendix. While Davis acknowledges that Ryken's work contains significant parallels to his own, the other scholars function primarily as foils. Deeper engagement with work already done in this area of scholarship is needed to lend credibility to Davis' views. Reading for Redemption embraces an ambitious goal, seeking to establish that creation, fall, and redemption are the mono-myth upon which all literature is based. And while the argument that Davis presents is not entirely convincing, it does leave me to wonder if and hope that the idea is provable in some way.There is much in the book that is reasonable and persuasive, and the book points toward a theory of practical criticism that could be embraced by a wide and diverse group of Christian writers. It is a good direction in which to point. Charles Pastoor John Brown University Rethinking the Turn to Religion in Early Modern English: The Poetics of All Believers. By Gregory Kneidel. Early Modern Literature in History. Eds. Cedric C. Brown and Andrew Hadfield. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. ISBN 9780230573680 . Pp. viii + 203. $85.00. 670 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE I was first asked by the Sixteenth Century Journal book review editor to review this volume. Extra duties and pressures at work caused me to miss his deadline. A year and a halflater, Christianity and Literature asked for a review of the same book (after the first reviewer chosen returned it). In the end, this seems a more suitable venue because an alternative view of Paul would probably be more appreciated by C&L readers. This densely-written study has a promising thesis. It attempts to approach Christian literature ofthe English Renaissance, soheavily influenced by Reformation subjectivism, from a different theological angle. Instead of the traditional focus on individual sin, guilt, angst, and salvation representative of the AugustinianLutheran interpretation of Paul'stheology, it looks for the influence that Paul'sother scriptural teachings had on early modern English literature, particularly the concept of the "poetics of allbelievers;' by which Professor Kneidel primarily means Pauline teachings about the church, communal life, and even universal salvation. In the history of Western thought Reformation theology is viewed as having been a chief cause of modern introspection, anxiety, subjectivity, and individualism. Kneidel wishes to draw attention to how "major writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries struggled to conceptualize an enduring, collective, public ethic of all believers" based on other scriptural topoi in the writings of Paul that emphasize "corporate Christianity:' "a Christian identity based in communal life ... threatened by a growing spiritual individualism" (3). He attempts...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 669-672
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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