Love and Good Reasons: Postliberal Approaches to Christian Ethics and Literature

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Duke University Press, Jan 14, 2003 - Literary Collections - 313 pages
Insisting on the vital, productive relationship between ethics and the study of literature, Love and Good Reasons demonstrates ways of reading novels and stories from a Christian perspective. Fritz Oehlschlaeger argues for the study of literature as a training ground for the kinds of thinking on which moral reasoning depends. He challenges methods of doing ethics that attempt to specify universally binding principles or rules and argues for the need to bring literature back into conversation with the most basic questions about how we should live.

Love and Good Reasons combines postliberal narrative theology—especially Stanley Hauerwas’s Christian ethics and Alasdair MacIntyre’s idea of traditional inquiry—with recent scholarship in literature and ethics including the work of Martha Nussbaum, J. Hillis Miller, Wayne Booth, Jeffrey Stout, and Richard Rorty. Oehlschlaeger offers detailed readings of literature by five major authors—Herman Melville, Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Henry James, and Stephen Crane. He examines their works in light of biblical scripture and the grand narratives of Israel, Jesus, and the Church. Discussing the role of religion in contemporary higher education, Oehlschlaeger shares his own experiences of teaching literature from a religious perspective at a state university.

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Literary Criticism and Christian Ethics in Service to One Another
Toward a Christian Ethics of Reading or Why We Cannot Be Done with Bartleby
The Best Blessing of Existence Conscious Worth in Emma
Honour Faithfulness and the Community in Anthony Trollopes The Warden and He Knew He Was Right
The Very Temple of Authorised Love Henry James and The Portrait of a Lady
A Light That Has Been There from the Beginning Stephen Crane and the Gospel of John

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About the author (2003)

Fritz Oehlschlaeger is Professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is coeditor of Toward the Making of Thoreau's Modern Reputation, coauthor of Articulating the Elephant Man: Joseph Merrick and His Interpreters, and editor of Old Southwest Humor from the Saint Louis Reveille, 18441850.