Book Reviews / Religion and the Arts 14 (2010) 173–197 185 McKelvy, William R. Th e English Cult of Literature: Devoted Readers, 1774–1880 . Victorian Literature and Culture Series. Charlottesville VA and London: University of Virginia Press, 2007. Pp. xiv + 322 + 11 illus- trations. $45.00 cloth. T hose unfamiliar with the burgeoning ﬁ eld of Religion and Literature studies may not be aware of its methodological diversity. Despite this diversity, much of what passes for interdisciplinary scholarship within the ﬁ eld betrays a lack of theological sophistication and serious engagement with the complexities of ecclesiastical structures, demonstrates a facile understanding of the ways in which the hazy concepts of “religion” and “literature” may cast light on each other, and bespeaks a mentality that refuses to allow even the possibility that the practitioners of religious faith in previous centuries were ardently and sincerely committed to their beliefs. Certainly, William McKelvy can be accused of none of these faults. His work stands within the broader ﬁ eld of Religion and Literature even as it seeks to forge new ground, for it is not a theological study of literary ﬁ g- ures and/or their works; neither is it an
Religion and the Arts – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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