Is there a Christian Literary Theory?

I am starting a Literary Theory class next week and as expected we will be looking at psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, and deconstructionist so I have been looking around for information about a Christian Literary Theory. I found Luke Ferretter’s book Toward a Christian Literary Theory, but I thought I would reach out and see what others here can offer.

I don’t know anything about this author either so if anyone has information on him it would be appreciated.

1 Like

Can you describe the context of the class with more detail?

Literary Theories are lenses that literary critics use to examine works of literature. The class is intended to give each student the ability to understand the four most common theories and gain experience in using these theories to examine literature.

Each of the four main theories, psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, and deconstructionist, which the class examines either ignore or deny the existence of God. I have very little experience with literary theory but the author I mentioned, Luke Ferretter, seems to argue that literary theory is inherently anti-theological and that there is a need for a theological theory to examine literature.

I am just looking to see who in this community me=ay have encountered this topic already and gain from their experience.

1 Like

@tfloraditch To clarify, what I meant by context was not the topic but who your intended audience is, where you will be teaching, what your goals are, etc. One good thing to consider, for example, would be whether you want to help young Christians to become more grounded in their faith. On the other hand, if you want to make this an opportunity for outreach, then you might take a different approach. I do not think that there is a “Christian” literary theory as such, anyway; Christians are a very diverse group, as this site attests!

By the way, one interesting strategy might be to do what my recent ethics professor did, and have your students test each secular theory to its limits. He understood each theory very well, and managed to remain neutral. I suspect that if there is a Christian literary theory out there it has its limits, too. I found that to be so with Aquinas’s Natural Law theory of ethics. Just a thought.

:slightly_smiling_face:I like to think that it was my intelligent writing that leads you to believe that I was the teacher. Sorry, I am the student. I am working on an MA degree in creative writing and my next class is Literary Theory. So I guess the audience is me. :blush:

1 Like

@tfloraditch That is so funny! I am no longer scratching my head in befuddlement. Have fun in the class. It should be interesting!