The Present Word. Culture, Society and the Site of Literature: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Boyle by John Walker
This book addresses three key areas of intellectual enquiry: literary criticism, cultural critique, and philosophical theology. Once closely related, especially in the Catholic tradition, they often appear to be separate and unconnected domains in the modern university. The work of Nicholas Boyle is one of the most significant recent attempts to reconnect them. Responding to that initiative, The Present Word challenges this fragmentation of knowledge.
Several of the essays reflect a major change of emphasis in literary studies over the last two decades: the reconnection of an idea of literary criticism closely related to the experience of reading, and the wider societal and political concerns addressed by Cultural Studies. Contributors also debate, from both perspectives, whether theological concepts can illuminate the secular culture in which literature is written and read.
John Walker is Senior Lecturer in German at Birkbeck College, London, where he served as Head of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture from 2006-2009.