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The Christian Tradition in English Literature

Due for publication in June 2007 by Zondervan, ISBN: 0310255155, to be available in all good bookshops and on Amazon.

For students, teachers and all who care about literature - a series of essays exploring the Christian background and implications of literature. This work encompassing poetry, plays and short prose can be used in conjunction with many anthologies and teaching texts, including the Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th edition.

Edited by Paul Cavill and Heather Ward.

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The range of authors and texts treated is extensive, including Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Herbert, Dickens, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster. The essays aim to help the reader understand and appreciate how writers exploit Christian themes and ideas in their work, interacting with the Christian tradition.

Once widely understood, the language and imagery of the Bible, themes of the liturgy and the moral framework of Christian faith are today familiar to relatively few. Allusions to this network of meaning can easily be overlooked or misconstrued. This book alerts the reader both to the Christian tradition and to the way it is used in literature, and will enrich and deepen the reading experience.


  • Introduction: biblical and Christian ideas in literature; the story-line of the Bible

  • c.100 essays on selected authors and texts
  • Time-period overviews relating to the understanding of Christianity; thematic essays on Christian images and ideas
  • Study questions for individual or group use and brief annotated bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Index

Authors of the essays include Paul Cavill, Heather Ward, Matthew Baynham and Andy Swinford.

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