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THE VICTORIAN GHOST STORY AND THEOLOGY

FROM LE FANU TO JAMES


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Sinopse

This book argues that theology is central to an understanding of the literary ghost story. Victorian ghost stories have traditionally been read in the context of agnosticism – as stories which reveal a society struggling with Christian orthodoxy in a new ‘Enlightened’ world. This book, however, uses theological ideas from St Augustine through to modern theologians to identify a theological journey taken by the protagonists of such stories, and charts each stage of this journey through the short stories it examines. It also proposes a theory of reader participation which creates an imaginary space in which modern epistemology is suspended. The book studies the work of four major authors of the supernatural tale: Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu and Henry James.

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