Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960

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"This is an intelligent, compelling, and beautifully-written book about the place of belief in contemporary American literature and culture. The eclectic mix of authors is gratifying, and each one is exhaustively researched."—Christopher Douglas, University of Victoria

"Hungerford bravely takes on one of the great unanswered questions of contemporary literary criticism: what are we to do with the sacred? Her readings of literary texts are persuasive and powerful, and she pursues her case with subtlety, tenacity and elegance. This strong book is contrarian to its core—I really know nothing like it out there."—Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan

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Editorial Reviews

Salem Press Magill Book Reviews
Postmodern Belief offers keen insights for the serious reader regarding current writers and their conception of the sacred.
— Cliff Prewencki
Salem Press Magill Book Reviews - Cliff Prewencki
Postmodern Belief offers keen insights for the serious reader regarding current writers and their conception of the sacred.
From the Publisher
Shortlisted for the 2011 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Textual Study of Religion

"Postmodern Belief offers keen insights for the serious reader regarding current writers and their conception of the sacred."—Cliff Prewencki, Salem Press Magill Book Reviews

"Hungerford's text is for scholars of contemporary literature and contemporary religion; for readers concerned about the relevance of literary texts and their continued ability to inform our lives; and for readers pursuing the meaning of religious belief in a postmodern world. Her work is richly researched and interdisciplinary, moving deftly between religious history and literary theory. Her reframing of belief is both creative and capacious, reaffirming the ability of literature to convey meaning in an allegedly postliterary age."—Kristina K. Groover, Modern Philology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691135083
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: 20/21 Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Hungerford is professor of English at Yale University. She is the author of "The Holocaust of Texts: Genocide, Literature, and Personification".

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix INTRODUCTION: Belief in Meaninglessness xiii CHAPTER ONE: Believing in Literature
Eisenhower, Salinger, St. Jacques Derrida 1
CHAPTER TWO: Supernatural Formalism in the Sixties
Ginsberg, Chant, Glossolalia 28
CHAPTER THREE: The Latin Mass of Language
Vatican II, Catholic Media, Don DeLillo 52
CHAPTER FOUR: The Bible and Illiterature
Bible Criticism, McCarthy and Morrison, Illiterate Readers 76
CHAPTER FIVE: The Literary Practice of Belief
Lived Religion, Marilynne Robinson, Left Behind 107
CONCLUSION: The End of The Road, Devil on the Rise 132
Notes 141
Bibliography 175
Index 187

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