Partial Faiths: Postsecular Fiction in the Age of Pynchon and Morrison

Overview

Spiritual conversions figure heavily in such novels as Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, Toni Morrison's Paradise, and Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine. What connects such varied works is that the characters in them who are converts are disenchanted with secularism yet apprehensive of dogmatic religiosity. Partial Faiths is the first study to identify a body of contemporary fiction in such terms, take the measure of ...
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Overview

Spiritual conversions figure heavily in such novels as Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, Toni Morrison's Paradise, and Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine. What connects such varied works is that the characters in them who are converts are disenchanted with secularism yet apprehensive of dogmatic religiosity. Partial Faiths is the first study to identify a body of contemporary fiction in such terms, take the measure of its structures and strategies, and evaluate its contribution to public discourse on religion's place in postmodern life.

About the Author:
John A. McClure is a professor of English and associate director of the graduate program in the English Department at Rutgers University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"McClure gives useful and original accounts of Pynchon, DeLillo, Morrison, Momaday, Silko, Erdrich and Ondaatje, demonstrating their complex spirituality. His definition of the 'poet seeker' is a persuasive clarification of the kind of American religious transcendence that is now a crucial feature of our life and our literature. Partial Faiths is truly a distinguished work.”—Harold Bloom

"Are you distressed by religious certainty and disturbed by secular dogmatism? Then this is the book for you. Through inspired readings of DeLillo, Pynchon, Morrison and others McClure charts post secular visions that transcend both regimes. To receive his account is to see that we already participate in a noble movement larger than we had imagined. This book is indispensable for our time."—William E. Connolly, author of Pluralism

"In the weakness, limit, and partiality of postsecular faith, John McClure has the courage to show us the residual supernaturalism and strength of religious life. He not only shows us the appealing religious pluralism of writers such as Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo, but reveals the ways these and other writers offer us something else as well: a religious imagination where pluralism does not render impossible the full range of religious experience. In McClure's generous vision, and in the vision of the writers he engages, saints and angels and divine visitations can be embraced without condescension and without fundamentalism. McClure is a discerning reader, and his work here will change how we understand, and divide up, the landscape of contemporary fiction."—Amy Hungerford, author of The Holocaust of Texts: Genocide, Literature, and Personfication

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820330334
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 12/25/2007
  • Pages: 224

Meet the Author

John A. McClure is a professor of English and associate director of the graduate program in the English department at Rutgers University. He is the author of Late Imperial Romance and Kipling and Conrad: The Colonial Fiction.

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