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BOOK REVIEWS 697 in their very being" (123), his rejection of ontology eviscerates being of content and frees other beings to become malleable projections of personal desire (105). While Morton's articulation of coexistence, for all its innovative science and theory, fails to imagine radical love, Christian scholars could begin thinking a more profound ecological thought by following the implications of theology and posing some unanswerable questions of their own. For instance, the incarnation involves God crossing a seemingly impenetrable "species" boundary, and yet Christ's incarnation does not minimize the differences between God and man; instead, his life shows both how vast this space is and that it can be traversed out of the desire for another's good. What implications does Christ's embodiment of humanity have for our relations with other species? Instead of trivializing the differences between humans and nonhumans-and between different human individuals-how might we represent these differences in ways that will encourage us to do the difficult work of crossing them in redemptive love? The Christian ecological thought does not imagine all beings as equally unknowable or give us the license to make choices disconnected from our unique responsibilities as humans; rather, it requires us to recognize the potential for radical love that Christ's incarnation offers to humanity. JeffreyBilbro Spring Arbor University Spiritual Identities: Literature and the Post-Secular Imagination. Edited by [o Carruthers and Andrew Tate. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2010. Vol. 17 of Cultural Interactions: Studies in the Relationship Between the Arts. ISBN 97803911 -925-7. Pp. vi + 231. $58.95. The Peter Lang series, Cultural Interactions: Studies in the Relationship Between the Arts, of which this volume is a part, directs its attention to forging new relationships between the arts, expanding their interdisciplinary possibilities. Spiritual Identities serves this purpose well, emphasizing fresh perspectives on the role of "the religious in contemporary literary studies" (1). Those who dispute nineteenth-century claims that religion was no more than a relic of unscientific thinking will be heartened by the articles in this volume, which start from the perspective, reminiscent of Rudolf Otto, Mircea Eliade, and others, that "the religious is increasingly revealed as an irreducible category of thought, feeling, experience and imagination which can never be explained away and with which we will always have to reckon" (1). In recognizing the importance of contemporary religious yearnings, the editors maintain that the "cracks' into which religious impulses flow in a world without religion are nothing other than the space of literature itself: literature is neither an alternative to, nor a substitute 698 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE for religion, but a way in which religious experience can happen" (5). All of the essays in the volume, then, invite readers to rethink and reimagine the persistence of religious ideas, questions, and influences on the lives and works of a wide variety of authors and literary works. The essays in this volume are wide-ranging, some more illuminating than others. The essays in the volume which seem least successful at highlighting a contemporary return to the recognition ofreligious impulses in art are those focused on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors and their works. Essays by Nancy Iiwon Cho and Emma Mason that investigate the work oflesser-known writers, like eighteenth-century devotional writer Susanna Harrison, and poets Anne Barbauld and Felicia Hemans, do helpfully underscore the ways that these women negotiated their identities as writers by using, in various ways, their relationships with and commitments to both traditional and dissenting forms of Christianity. But Brian Ingram's essay on George Eliot's early Evangelicalism and Simon Marsdon's piece on the spiritualized landscape of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights cover already analyzed territory. And although Andy Mousley's essay on spiritual humanisms focuses on more recent writers, in using the work of Martin Luther King to create a dialogue between Walter Benjamin and Julia Kristeva, the essay takes up so many aspects of these writers' work that it fails to bring its point home clearly. The essays that have more promise for thinking about the religious in contemporary literary studies are those that specifically engage newer works of literature, underscoring the ways in which religious impulses...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 697-699
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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