Outstanding, in-depth scholarship by renowned literary critics; great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.
Exploration of theodicy, internal doubt and conflict, and secularism and other difficulties of faith when a belief system is seemingly compromised.
Rooted religiously in the texts of the Old and New Testament, the term crisis of faith is a common phrase that evokes intense spiritual strife and doubt, the eternal struggle between good and evil. Since that time, the term has become a pervasive theme of literature, manifesting itself within and embodying a broad range of human affairs and secular ideals, from the moral ambiguities of patriotism and war to mankind’s critical questioning of meaning and purpose in an increasingly modern world.
Edited by Robert C. Evans, Professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery, this volume in the Critical Insights series presents a variety of new essays on the perennial theme. For readers who are studying it for the first time, a four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the theme, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts in the genre. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the theme can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches. Works discussed include Book of Job, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and All the King’s Men, as well as the works of Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, Emily Dickinson, and Wilfred Owen. Among the contributors are Jonathan Wright, Elizabeth Woodworth, Robert Klevay, and Lawrence Berkove.
Rounding out the volume are a list of literary works not mentioned in the book that concern the theme as well as a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth.
Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:
- About This Volume
- Critical Context: Original Introductory Essays
- Critical Readings: Original In-Depth Essays
- Further Readings
- Detailed Bibliography
- Detailed Bio of the Editor
- General Subject Index