This site exists to provide a comprehensive overview of the field of literature and religion. It is based in literary studies, not religious studies, but it includes notable literary research by scholars of religion. It is an international effort, started in the United States. Financially and ideologically independent of any institution, it does not aim to promote a particular approach, organization, or religion but to make known the extent of scholarly efforts that currently exist.
Standard anthologies of literary theory do not recognize religion as a factor in contemporary literary studies. Because such introductions define the discipline for entering scholars, many are unaware of the theory, groups, texts, or recurrent questions that have previously emerged on religion and literature. Even scholars most interested in this area can be ignorant of significant efforts by other scholars in the field. Such a condition may lead to fresh conceptualizations, but it also results in many reinventions of the wheel. This website thus identifies resources for informed scholarship and teaching.
As a field of inquiry, literature and religion is more like a stellar field than a plot of ground. The visible bodies appear in clusters, but they are often separated by vast distances and fueled in fundamentally different sources. No single set of rules and aims delimit this field. Yet studies at the interplay of literature and religion are perpetually arising, following patterns and dynamics that merit conscious examination.
Originally planned in 2004, this project was developed and released in 2020. The site is still in progress.
New contributors are welcome. Questions, corrections, and suggestions for the site can be sent to the site coordinator, Sharon Kim, at email@example.com.
The Literature and Religion project has received visitors from ninety-seven different countries.
Photo credit: M45 The Pleiades Star Cluster, Robert Gendler, NASA image
Literature and Religion: Resources for Academic Inquiry website Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.
Last updated 1.26.23.