113th Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon
Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Religion in American Literature II

Session Chair: 
Marc Malandra, Biola University
Session 2: Friday 10:40am-12:10pm
Skyline IV (PH-ET)


  1. Anne Turner, Utah Valley University
    Emerson’s voyage to Europe, following his first wife’s death and his resignation from Unitarianism, offered spiritual cleansing from restraining edicts that conflicted with his own theological theories. Personal encounters with Romanticism during his voyage reinforced his conviction in individual subjectivity as the ultimate authority of religious understanding.
  2. Eleanor Wakefield, University of Oregon
    Helene Johnson, poet of the Harlem Renaissance, interrogated received ideas about Christian faith and African American history in various verse forms; this paper uses the sonnet “A Missionary Brings a Young Native to America” and the free-verse “Magula” to explore in two ways whether and how to accept faith.
  3. Liesl King, York St John University
    Ursula Le Guin’s writing explores a ‘yin-centered’ spirituality, one which draws on Taoism as it pauses to evaluate and shift sideways that which she identifies as America’s ‘yang’ centered approach to cultural advancement.
  4. Haein Park, Biola University
    Toward the very end of the novel The Road, Cormac McCarthy’s tone and style suddenly shift with an allusion to a verdant landscape.  I argue in my paper that the discrepancy between the unremitting darkness surrounding McCarthy’s descriptions of a shattered world and the image of wholeness glimpsed at the end of the novel can be understood through the concept of eucatastrophe, first introduced by J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay on fairy tales, and elaborated by the British theologian, Trevor Hart. 
Session Cancelled: