Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives-from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon-contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy.
Stephen K. George is professor of English at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Part 3 Ethical Criticism and Literary Theory Chapter 4 Premises on Art and Morality Chapter 5 The Moral Connections of Literary Texts Chapter 6 Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple Chapter 7 Ethical Criticism: What It Is and Why It Matters Chapter 8 Against Ethical Criticism Chapter 9 Who Is Responsible in Ethical Criticism? Chapter 10 The Absence of the Ethical: Literary Theory and Ethical Theory Chapter 11 Evaluative Discourse: A New Turn Towards the Ethical Chapter 12 The Moral and the Aesthetical: Literary Study and the Social Order Part 13 Philosophy Religion, and Literature Chapter 14 Reading for Life Chapter 15 The "Ancient Quarrel": Literature and Moral Philosophy Chapter 16 Stories and Morals Chapter 17 The Absence of Stories: Filling the Void in Ethics Chapter 18 Literature and the Catholic Perspective Chapter 19 Literature and Protestantism Chapter 20 Something to Measure By: Quaker Values in Literature Chapter 21 Literary Criticism and Religious Values Part 22 Writers' Responsibilities Chapter 23 A Writer's Duty Chapter 24 The Writer's Moral Sense Chapter 25 Imaginative Writing and the Jewish Experience Chapter 26 The Problem of Evil in Fiction Chapter 27 Poetry, Politics, and Morality Chapter 28 Art and Ethics? Chapter 29 What Violence in Literature Must Teach Us Chapter 30 Ethics and Literature Part 31 Readers and Ethical Criticism Chapter 32 The Case Against Huck Finn Chapter 33 Why We Still Need Huckleberry Finn Chapter 34 Huckleberry Finn: An Amazing Troubling Book Chapter 35 The Ethical Dimensions of Richard Wright's Native Son Chapter 36 Sethe's Choice: Beloved and the Ethics of Reading Chapter 37 Steinbeck, Johnson, and the Master/Slave Relationship Chapter 38 Censorship and the Classroom