by Laura Barge
Exploring Worldviews in Literature is a collection of essays demonstrating the practice of literary criticism from a Christian perspective. In each essay, author Laura Barge compares and contrasts the philosophical assumptions of various literary works with those of a Christian worldview. This critical strategy, Barge believes, has an important place in both faith-based and secular schools. She embraces Jaroslav Pelikan's claim that the university remains the "custodian" of the "common memory" of any culture and thus cannot escape the obligation to preserve the moral and spiritual history of that culture. She thus presumes that the basic contours of a Christian worldview are an indispensable component of the Western cultural heritage.
The literature analyzed here comes from a wide spectrum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American literature, with one chapter devoted to Russian literature of the same era. Throughout the volume, Barge explores numinous spaces, scapegoats, disclosures of the sacred in nature, and the mythos of an absent God, all in an effort to enlighten by unfolding worldviews. "Because the study of literature is [so] closely connected with the experiences of life itself," Barge writes, "it is also [particularly] in need of the enlightenment of Christian truth." In each of these essays, Barge draws on her years of study and her honest convictions to offer readers models of how to better understand the relationship between texts and Christian life.
Dimensions (inches): 8.5 x 5.5
Weight (pounds): 0.55