This collection of new essays by academics from different parts of the world brings refreshing and provocative responses to prominent literary theories, especially theories of the reading process and of reader-response. This edition is significant in three ways: for its encounter with world religions and literatures; its explicit literary cum theological discourse; and its strong focus on the ethics of reading and representation. It boasts an impressive multidisciplinary array of reader-response theories that straddle theological, cultural, and literary boundaries. The essays showcase a combination of theory and hands-on application on literary and cultural texts.
"Theology needs the literary imagination and, indeed, will not survive without it. However, a responsible imagination is never imagination for imagination's sake, for it is connected to the gendered, ethnic, class, national, and postcolonial realities of identity, of real people living in the world. The essays collected here show where, when, and how the creative forces of literature can meet theology, and how such an intersection makes a difference for that practical mode of thinking we call ethics." - S. Brent Plate, author of Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics, editor of Religion, Art, and Visual Culture
"These essays in Theology and Literature enable their reader to discover how a strongly centrifugal effect, produced by a rich array of texts, locations, and issues, can coincide with the centripetal effect of securing reading as moral, spiritual practice." - Professor Wesley A. Kort, Chair, Department of Religion, Duke University
"In this new millennium, where the question of responsibility personal, corporate, national, global hits us with new force, the old jouissance of textual engagement has given way to a renewed ethical imperative. It is reassuring to see a volume like this take seriously the question of reading, and indeed writing, responsibly, not by tossing out the last fifty years, but by provoking us into new ways of appropriating the textual concerns of yesterday for the new ethical demands of today. This is a timely and important book, therefore: diverse in its range of genre and tradition, yet singular in its focus on what it means to be responsible with the texts and theories that we have inherited and that we now employ." - Andrew W. Hass, University of Stirling