The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature

Edited by Daisy Gudmunsen and Claudia Dellacasa

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities 13

Modern Humanities Research Association

20 December 2018


Most aesthetic concepts are theological ones in disguise. — Terry Eagleton

Senti il mancare di ogni religione | vera. — Pier Paolo Pasolini

How has the cultural and social significance of religion changed in Europe? How does European literature register or reformulate the ‘narrative’ of secularization, and what is it about literary texts that makes them such privileged sites for exploring the intersection of the sacred and the secular? Volume 13 of Working Papers in the Humanities considers the intertwining of the sacred and the secular across eight different contexts, ranging from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. Across a multitude of literary genres, including hymn, poetic parable, fairy tale and novella, and often poised at the intersection of philosophy and literary studies, this collection of articles both answers and raises questions about sacralization and secularization. In particular, it celebrates the work being done by early career researchers on questions of faith and doubt; Christianity and atheism; epiphany and experience; and contemporary transformations of the ethical.

'Just over a decade after the publication of Charles Taylor's landmark book, A Secular Age, it feels appropriate to reflect on what it means to live in a secular world which still retains or includes features of the sacred. Literary and poetic notions underpin many of the theological, social, and philosophical debates around secularism and various forms of faith. The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature examines these crossing points: where the literary meets the theoretical, and where the secular meets the sacred.' — Judith Ryan

Contents:

1-10
Introduction: The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature
Daisy Gudmunsen, Claudia Dellacasa
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11-20
Time, Space, and Sacred-Secular Configurations in Modern European Poetry
Judith Ryan
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21-30
The Welsh Hymn: Sacred or Secular?
Nathan Munday
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31-39
The Intersection of the Secular and the Sacred in Un Cas de conscience by Alexandre Dumas Père
Steffie Van Neste
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40-49
The Sacred Mind: William James and Modernist Epiphany
Valeria Taddei
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50-59
On Becoming-Secular: Gilles Deleuze and the Death of God
Marie Chabbert
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60-68
‘No great statement about reality [...] can be static, like simple information’: Literary Language and Reality
Emily Holman
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69-78
Creating a ‘space for the mystery’: The Sacred in the Twenty-First Century
Sara Helen Binney
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79-88
A Bit of Faith in Ecology: Paradox in Michel Deguy’s Poetic Parables
Sam La Vedrine
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Bibliography entry:

Gudmunsen, Daisy, and Claudia Dellacasa (eds), The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 13 (2018)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-13> [accessed 28 October 2020]

First footnote reference: 35 The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature, ed. by Daisy Gudmunsen and Claudia Dellacasa (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 13 (2018)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-13> [accessed 28 October 2020], p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Gudmunsen and Dellacasa, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Gudmunsen, Daisy, and Claudia Dellacasa (eds). 2018. The Sacred in the Secular in European Literature (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 13) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-13> [accessed 28 October 2020]

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Gudmunsen and Dellacasa 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Gudmunsen and Dellacasa 2018: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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