Postmodern Belief ePUB Ê Paperback

Postmodern Belief ✼ [EPUB] ✴ Postmodern Belief By Amy Hungerford ❆ – How can intense religious beliefs coexist with pluralism in America today Examining the role of the religious imagination in contemporary religious practice and in some of the best known works of Amer How can intense religious beliefs coexist with pluralism in America today Examining the role of the religious imagination in contemporary religious practice and in some of the best known works of American literature from the past fifty years Postmodern Belief shows how belief for its own sake a belief absent of doctrine has become an answer to pluralism in a secular age Amy Hungerford reveals how imaginative literature and religious practices together allow novelists poets and critics to express the formal elements of language in transcendent terms conferring upon words a religious value independent of meaning Hungerford explores the work of major American writers including Allen Ginsberg Don DeLillo Cormac McCarthy Toni Morrison and Marilynne Robinson and links their uniue visions to the religious worlds they touch She illustrates how Ginsberg's chant infused s poetry echoes the tongue speaking of Charismatic Christians how DeLillo reimagines the novel and the Latin Mass why McCarthy's prose imitates the Bible and why Morrison's fiction needs the supernatural Uncovering how literature and religion conceive of a world where religious belief can escape confrontations with other worldviews Hungerford corrects recent efforts to discard the importance of belief in understanding religious life and argues that belief in belief itself can transform secular reading and writing into a religious act Honoring the ways in which people talk about and practice religion Postmodern Belief highlights the claims of the religious imagination in twentieth century American culture.

7 thoughts on “Postmodern Belief

  1. Aaron Aaron says:

    Hungerford proposes that since the 1960s there is a strain of religious belief in the American novel This belief however is apart from religion itself with authors including DeLillo McCarthy and Morrison placing their belief in aesthetics removing the ontological underpinning found in traditional religious writing Hurgerford argues with a clear prose that activates the reader rarely using cliches and eschewing prose that is academic in a way that almost makes it impenetrable I found her case persuasive and will use this lens in future readings And now some caveats I was not a lit major and have no idea how people hard core into lit theory would react to this book It reads a little like Harold Bloom's mainstream work which may be a particular disappointment to those drawn to the postmodern part of the title While she engages throughout with theorists such as Jameson her analysis is different from what he doesAlso she leans pretty heavily into her argument that these works of high and low literature are important to contemporary culture as both documentaries and means of cultural production even while acknowledging literature's increasingly shrinking market share I wasn't sure I believed that her work could really be extended into mass culture In part her treatment of mass market genre fiction felt rushed It might have worked better if she wrote on low art than just the Left Behind series particularly since she seemed incapable of taking that series seriously often stopping to take a pot shot at the work I'm not a fan of those books but it did undermine her tacit claim that this is a work we can treat seriously when she seems incapable of keeping a straight face while writing about it

  2. Tiffany Tiffany says:

    This was classic Hungerford and I loved it I enjoyed her Holocaust of Texts this past summer and looked forward to another of her works Apparently It took her six years to write these 140 pages and you can feel the work behind each one as well as a pleasing commitment to voice and mostly successful care not to be snarky about belief you can tell it was hard during the section on the LEft Behind books the parentheticals begin to overwhelm at that time but one understandably has limitsThe basic argument is that post 1960 in American literature writers have begun to reinfuse and refresh an exhausted literature with the literary authority derived from religion a religion without doctrinal content but instead founded in lived religious practice or linguistic practice What I like about the book however is that the argument goes both ways not only is it an argument about literature but also about literary studies and religious studies it even touches on historyculture of lived religion in the United States Being short the book takes up its many literary texts in the tidiest of no nonsense ways yet with a range of examples at all times In addition the author does not obfuscate or circle her claims but presents them forthrightly with appropriate hedging and clarificationThe chapter on self consciously religious authors' engagement with religion and literature was the least successful in my view The pairing of Marilynne Robinson and LaHayeJenkins felt perhaps a bit too much of uneual yoking not because Left Behind isn't worth being studied the phenomenon is well within the scholar's purview but rather because none of the REST of the chapters reached much outside of literary fictionpoetry The mechanisms of the writers' insistence on literary practice were so disparate it was hard to bring them together for a chapter sized claim and while I think she's not wrong about Robinson I suspect there's MORE there I would have liked her to comment about how her arguments about Don DeLillo impacted a reading of White Noise mostly because I think her argument could really affect how we read the structures of White Noise I would read another book by Hungerford; I will even wait for it In the meantime I think we need to invite her out to Wheaton

  3. Nicole Schrag Nicole Schrag says:

    I think this book is strongest at its most granular level especially the readings of DeLillo Morrison and McCarthy The distinction even separation? between the form and content of belief in the introduction seemed a bit overstated to me but by the end I thought Hungerford used that binary in productively flexible ways It's worth sticking with it to the end I also am grateful for her attention to belief in meaninglessness which I found to be useful for thinking about the lavish biblical KJV aesthetics in books like McCarthy's; to different degrees I think this might apply to the lyrical realism Zadie Smith of a lot of literary fiction I'd additionally love to see someone pair this concept belief in meaninglessness with an examination of negative theology in similar texts

  4. Elena Sala Elena Sala says:

    Amy Hungerford author of POSTMODERN BELIEF contends that while literature is a declining source of authority in American present day culture religion has become an ever stronger one For this reason she asserts that most American prominent writers are using language as a religious form in order to salvage what they feel as a threatened literary authorityIn this book she explores the work of some major writers such as Allen Ginsberg Don DeLillo Cormac McCarthy Toni Morrison and Marilynne Robinson among others to show how they turn to religion to imagine the purely formal elements of language in trascendent termsThis is a very specialized academic text exhaustively researched but it is not really accessible for the general reader unfortunately A reader well informed of the intricacies of American religion would probably find this book interesting than I did

  5. Andrea Engle Andrea Engle says:

    Very densely packed explores the literary approach to lived religion and its impact on the prose of several American writers beginning with Allen Ginsberg through Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy to Marilynne Robinson takes a very amorphous subject and manages to pin it down through concrete examples from American novels written since 1960 deals with the effects of American religious pluralism and rising secularism

  6. Christina “6 word reviewer” Lake Christina “6 word reviewer” Lake says:

    Hungerford's excellent on Ginsberg and DeLillo; and I think she has convinced me by her potentially devastating reading of Cormac McCarthy For her Blood Meridian just has the aesthetic power of scripture without its content But she can't resist ending on a discussion of the soaring ending of The Road This book is well worth reading

  7. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I haven't read the book in its entirety although now I have my very own copy thanks to my mother in law The parts I have read are very engaging and thoughtful and Hungerford has a uniue vision of the play between texts and religion

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