Graceful Reading: Theology and Narrative in the Works of John Bunyan

Hardcover | July 1, 2002

byMichael Davies

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Graceful Reading offers a new way of understanding Bunyan's theology and his narrative art, examining and reassessing the complex and interdependent relationship between them. Michael Davies begins by proposing that Bunyan's theology is far from obsessed with the forbidding Calvinist doctrineof predestination and its corollary tendency towards painful introspection. Bunyan's is, rather, a comfortable doctrine, in which the believer is encouraged to accept salvation through the far more assuring terms of Bunyan's covenant theology - those of faith and grace. The book then reassesses howBunyan's narrative style is informed by this theology. Works such as Grace Abounding and The Pilgrim's Progress reveal a profound sensitivity to narrative forms and reading practices, as they aim to inculcate in their readers a self-consciousness about reading itself which is instrumental in thevery process of spiritual instruction, in seeing 'things unseen'. This is a study, therefore, which asserts a radically different way of reading of Bunyan's writings, both through the terms of seventeenth-century covenant theology, and through some distinctly 'postmodernist' ideas about narrativepractice.

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Graceful Reading offers a new way of understanding Bunyan's theology and his narrative art, examining and reassessing the complex and interdependent relationship between them. Michael Davies begins by proposing that Bunyan's theology is far from obsessed with the forbidding Calvinist doctrineof predestination and its corollary tendency...

Michael Davies is Lecturer in English at the University of Leicester

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:412 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.09 inPublished:July 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199242402

ISBN - 13:9780199242405

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. A comfortable doctrine: John Bunyan's theology of grace2. Bunyan's exceeding maze: doctoring and doctrine in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners3. Of things seen and unseen: graceful reading and narrative practice in Grace Abounding4. Into an allegory: method, metaphor, and the apology of The Pilgrim's Progress5. 'Sweet fiction and sweet truth': theology and narrative in The Pilgrim's Progress6. First among sequels: John Bunyan's other allegoriesPostscript: the legacy of The Pilgrim's Progress