Ethics, Literature, and Theory: An Introductory Reader brings together the work of contemporary scholars, teachers, and writers into lively discussion on the moral role of literature and the relationship between aesthetics, art, and ethics.
Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? What do we mean when we talk about ethical criticism and how does this differ from the common notion of censorship?
Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions including: literary theorists Marshall Gregory, James Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections among literature, religion and philosophy.