Religion and Sexuality in American Literature


Religion and Sexuality in American Literature

Through the voice of American fiction, Religion and Sexuality in American Fiction examines the relations of body and spirit (religion and sexuality) by asking two basic questions: How have American novelists handled the interaction between religious and sexual experience? Are there instructive similarities and differences in how male and female authors write about religion and sexuality? Using both canonical and noncanonical fiction, Ann-Janine Morey examines novels dealing with the ministry as the medium wherein so many of the tensions of religion and sexuality are dramatized, and then moves to contemporary novels that deal with moral and religious issues through metaphor. Based on a sophisticated and selective application of metaphor theory, deconstruction, and feminist postmodernism, Morey argues that while American fiction has replicated many traditional animosities, there are also some rather surprising resources here for commonality between men and women if we acknowledge and understand the intimate relationship between language and physical life.


 Reviews:

"Morey demonstrates her familiarity with all the correct methodologies, from deconstructionism to feminist postmodernism, but her aim is to illumine the commonalities between spirit and body, men and women. She succeeds, gracefully." First Things

"This is a book with many virtues. As Ann-Janine Morey lucidly explains, it is an investigation of the manner in which American novelists have 'handled the interaction between religious and sexual experience.' And she has handled that investigation with eclat. Her fourteen-page introduction delineates the parameters of her study with a precision and clarity that is characteristic of the text as a whole. Morey's grasp of the issues, both historical and contemporary, is impressive....'Religion and Sexuality in American Literature' is an important contribution that should provoke much scholarly discussion." Anita Gandolfo, Critical Review

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