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John E Riley

This collection of reflective essays is dedicated to the delicate but sturdy bonds between literature and Christian Faith, and to a woman, known inspirationally to the writers, who personifies that connection.

Marian Barber Washburn is a born and bred New Englander with a touch of nasal accent and a persistent misuse of the letter "r," which together modify slightly her proud perfectionism. Having graduated from Eastern Nazarene College in 1938 and having earned her M.A. in English Literature from Boston University she came west to Idaho in 1941.

For thirty-seven years she taught at Northwest Nazarene College serving as divisional chairperson of Language and Literature for twenty-six of those years.

To her literature majors and to many other students she has represented the invigorating climate of the best ever written or spoken (literature) and the loftiest of moral values (Christianity).

What she has passed on to others was her heritage from devout deeply committed forebears and from scholarly teachers such as Dean Bertha Munro, a towering saint of great ideas and noble life.

Those who follow in this train see a profound and wonderfully logical connection between literature and their religious faith. Great ideas, correctly or even artistically expressed in pen or speech, are the bread and breath of the mind and spirit.

Little, petty thoughts, slovenly expressed are offensive to an awakened brain and untrue to what really is and to what matters most. And when truth is finally put together it embraces the intellect, the heart, and the volition. And suddenly, gloriously, there stands Christ, who is the way, the Truth and Life.

Literature and the Christian Faith thrive together.

Included Essays:

“Mid-Voyage Log Entry”
Arthur F. Seamans

“The Christian as Catcher: on Reading Secular Literature”
Noel Riley Fitch

“A Theonomous Analysis of American Literature”
Gaymon Bennett

“Recent Evangelical Novels: Sermon and Art”
Richard W. Etulain

“’Acquiescent Piety’: Virginia Woolf’s Quarrel with Christianity”
Ruth A. Cameron

“The Failure of Spiritual Values in Henry James’s The Aspern Papers”
Noel Riley Fitch

Tragedy and the Christian Ethic”
Lillian Bedinger Lewis

“The Taming of Absurdity: Christian and Secular Existentialism and the Problem of Meaning”
John C. Luik

“Francis Schaeffer (1912-84): An Evaluation of his Life and Thought”
Kent R. Hill

“Evangelicals and Literature: Suggestions for Further Reading;
An Annotated Bibliography”
Richard W. Etulai


Noel Riley Fitch © All Rights Reserved

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