JOURNAL   Christianity & Literature is devoted to the scholarly exploration of how literature engages Christian thought, experience, and practice. The journal presupposes no particular theological orientation but respects an orthodox understanding of Christianity as a historically defined faith. Contributions appropriate for submission should demonstrate a keen awareness of the author's own critical assumptions in addressing significant issues of literary history, interpretation, and theory.

Christianity & Literature is a member of CELJ, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Published quarterly, each issue contains peer-reviewed scholarly articles, book reviews, poetry, and announcements. A searchable database of all articles, book reviews, and poetry published in Christianity & Literature is available on the journal's homepage at SAGE Journals here.  


Mark Eaton
Azusa Pacific University

Associate Editors
Matthew J. Smith
Caleb D. Spencer
Azusa Pacific University

Book Review Editor
Philip Mitchell
Dallas Baptist University

Poetry Editor
Peter Cooley
Tulane University



Subscribers receive print copies of four issues in each volume as well as access to the full online archive.

To subscribe to Christianity & Literature go to 

Or visit the journal's homepage at SAGE Journals: 

Please note that our publishing cycle for each volume runs from December to November of the following year. Subscriptions purchased before August 31 of each calendar year will be processed in the current publishing cycle and backdated if necessary, meaning you will receive the issues previously published in the current volume (issues in December, March, June, and September). Subscriptions purchased after September 1 of each calendar year will be for the upcoming volume (published in December, March, June, and September).



Before submitting your work, please see our detailed Submission Guidelines.


Articles should be submitted electronically at

The editors will make every effort to respond to all submissions within four months.

Any inquiries can be made to

Mark Eaton, Editor
Christianity & Literature
Department of English
Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Ave.
Azusa, CA 91702-7000


  • Poetry submissions are accepted in hard copy form only. Please send all poetry submissions to:
  • Peter Cooley, Poetry Editor

    Christianity & Literature
    Tulane University
    Department of English, Norman Mayer 122
    New Orleans, LA 70118

  • Please be sure to include all relevant contact information along with poem or poems. Submissions will not be acknowledged or returned unless they are accompanied by a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) with sufficient return postage.


    The editors assign book reviews by invitation. If you would like to suggest a book for review or offer to write a book review, please write to Philip Mitchell at If you are an author or publisher, please send books for review to:

    Philip Mitchell, Book Review Editor
    Christianity & Literature
    Collins Learning Center 222
    Dallas Baptist University
    3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
    Dallas, TX 25211

For detailed instructions, see Submission Guidelines or consult our complete guidelines at SAGE Journals here.



Special Issue of Christianity & Literature

"The Secular and the Literary"

Guest Editor: Colin Jager (Rutgers University)

In the past decade we have seen a surge of interest in secularism (as a mode of governance) and “the secular” (as a background condition of modernity). The terms of debate have by now achieved something of a rough equilibrium: Is “secularization” an outdated concept, or does it still capture something true about the modern world? Is secularism a mode of governmentality or a normative ideal to be defended? What is secularism’s role in colonial and imperial ventures? Is its story best told as a matter of intellectual, social, or political history? Does the term “post-secular,” which has begun to appear with some frequency, describe anything more than an academic trend? Most of these questions originated in the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, and political science), or in hybrid disciplines like religious studies and intellectual history, and it is there that they are being most actively debated. Though literary studies has productively adopted some of this work, the place of literature and the literary within the secular (and indeed, whether literature has anything but an ancillary role to play in this conversation) remains, with a few notable exceptions, ill-defined. For example, Edward Said’s defense of “secular criticism” as intrinsic to a certain kind of literary relation to the world remains one touchstone, and yet Said’s concerns and themes (critical distance, exile) are largely orthogonal to the current interest in secularism. Or consider Hans Joas’s 2008 reminder that dissatisfaction with the narrative of secularization does not lead in any obvious or straightforward way to an increase in religious practice, commitment, or sacred expression. This special issue seeks, then to push further the theorization and application of secularism and postsecularism, with a particular emphasis upon the ways that literary studies and literature have advanced, altered, or intercepted the social science and religious studies conversation. What, then, is the place of the literary within the history and formation of the secular? What histories of the field, discipline, or literary object might have purchase on the secular / religion binary? If that binary has outlived its usefulness, what might replace it? We also are interested in critical engagements with those modes of analysis that have become most prominent in so-called postsecular literary studies, from the turn to religion and the presumed demise of secularization theory to the political and ethical implications of naming something (a text, an era, a methodology) postsecular.

Full-length essays (8,000 words) and shorter (4,000 word) “think” pieces are both welcome. Deadline: January 15, 2017 Contact: Colin Jager, Professor of English, Rutgers University Submit at:  (please indicate in the field on the 4th page of the submission process that asks “Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue?” that it is for the Literary and the Secular issue). Inquiries about this special issue can be made to





Joshua Mabie is the recipient of the 2016 Lionel Basney Award for his essay “The Field is Ripe: Christian Literary Scholarship, Postcolonial Ecocriticism, and Environmentalism,” published in Volume 65, Issue 3 of Christianity & Literature. This essay includes elements of a jeremiad, lamenting the dearth of Christian literary scholarship engaged with ecocriticism, but it also includes specific calls to action. Mabie argues that developments in postcolonial ecocriticism “undercut its former anti-anthropocentrism (some would say anti-humanism), and lower the most significant barrier that has separated Christian literary scholars from rigorous engagement with the environment.” While postcolonial ecocriticism’s alliance with poststructuralism could be off-putting for some Christian scholars, Mabie suggests that it presents “new opportunities for those Christian literary scholars who are not entirely convinced of language’s ability to communicate Truth outside of systems of power and history.” In light of our global ecological crisis, Mabie urges Christian literary scholars to unite “love for God and love for their neighbors” with “care for the earth” by “magnifying the work of marginalized writer-activists”; this work, he concludes, “has the potential to transform the earth and the world.” Future scholars are likely to frame their work in response to Mabie’s essay; it is thus the best kind of “special issue” essay, in that it is likely to extend its influence beyond the pages of Volume 65. For its timeliness, its attentiveness to its audience, and for its helpful framing of scholarly trends, Joshua Mabie’s “The Field is Ripe: Christian Literary Scholarship, Postcolonial Ecocriticism, and Environmentalism” has been given the 2016 Lionel Basney Award.


"Catechism," by Michael Waters

First dilemma: fall or climb higher?

Sneakered feet wedged between cobblestones,

Fingers clasping cobbles above, I remained immobile,

Rigid with fear, fixed between earth and sky.

The stone bridge arched the bridle path, tall enough

To allow horse and rider to pass, not quite twice

The height of my bored father but alpine to a small boy.

I could close my eyes and plunge like the rebellious angels.

I’d been granted ascension, but only so high,

Like innocents whose hearts burst before baptism.

I wouldn’t weep. I wouldn’t call “Father!” I took a breath

And cupped one palm on a fat round stone, thrust a toe

Into a shallow cleft and hoisted my bones toward God.

Cobble by cobble I scaled the wall until I tumbled over,

Featherless creature stunned on the footpath. Dirt-flecked and dumb,

I gazed up at my father who’d strolled that winding walkway.

He spoke my name. I was still alive. And still his only son.


Christianity & Literature Volume 66, Issue 1 (December 2016)
Special Issue: George Herbert: Spiritual Poetics and Poetic Spirituality
Guest Editor: Gary Kuchar (University of Victoria)

Gary Kuchar, “Introduction: Distraction and the Ethics of Poetic Form in The Temple”


1. Frances Cruickshank, “Broken Altars: Form and Content in George Herbert’s Temple”

2. Denae Dyck, “Writing Wisdom: George Herbert's Synaesthetic Poetics”

3. Kristine Wolberg, “Posture and Spiritual Formation in George Herbert’s The Country Parson & The Temple”

4. Ben Faber, “The Art of Divine Meditation in George Herbert’s The Temple”

5. David Thorley, “Didacticism and Edification: Herbert’s Poems in Three Restoration Manuscripts”

6. Russell M. Hillier, “Herbert’s Peppercorn: Responsibility and Reciprocity in The Temple”

7. Grant Lilford, “Approaching the Cross: George Herbert and R.S. Thomas”


David Craig, “Mary Receiving the Pierced Body”

Julie Swarstad Johnson, “Waiting for the Bridegroom”

Michael Waters, “Catechism”

Book Reviews

1. Brandon W. Hawk / M. R. Rambaran-Olm, John the Baptist’s Prayer or The Descent into Hell from the Exeter Book: Text, Translation and Critical Study

2. Darryl Tippens / John Drury, Music of Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert

3. Kyle Sebastian Vitale / James D. Mardock and Kathryn R. McPherson, ed. Stages of Engagement: Drama and Religion in Post-Reformation England; and Kimberly Johnson, Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England

4. David J. Leigh / Francesca Bugliani Knox and John Took, ed. Poetry and Prayer: The Power of the Word II

5. Brent Gibson / Harold K. Bush, Continuing Bonds with the Dead: Parental Grief and Nineteenth-Century American Authors

6. Joshua Boyd / Ray Comfort, Mark Twain: A Christian Response to His Battle with God

7. Michon M. Matthiesen / Paul J. Griffiths, Decreation: The Last Things of All Creatures

8. Craig Detweiler / Graham Holderness, Re-Writing Jesus: Christ in 20th-Century Fiction and Film



Christianity & Literature Volume 65, Issue 4 (September 2016)

George Piggford C.S.C., "Mrs. May’s Dark Night in Flannery O’Connor’s 'Greenleaf'’’ 397

Peter G. Epps, "Before a fall: The role of the interpreter in Endo’s Silence" 413

Jordan CArson, ‘‘'But now my eye sees you': Hierophany in Job and The Crying of Lot 49" 430

Nathan Kilpatrick, "The giving and taking of wounds: Friendship and hagiography in Frederick Buechner’s Godric" 455

June Sturrock, "Martha and Mary Re-Imagined: A.S. Byatt and Others" 473

Jacob Stratman, ‘‘'How good it is to be a monkey': Conversion and spiritual formation in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese" 490

Book Reviews

Alaya Swann, Review of Denis Searby (Trans.), The Revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden, Vol. 3, Liber Caelestis, Books 6–7 508 

Laura K. Bedwell, Review of Kurt A. Schreyer, Shakespeare’s Medieval Craft: Remnants of the Mysteries on the London Stage 511

Nathan Bechtold, Review of Edward F. Mooney, Excursions with Thoreau: Philosophy, Poetry, Religion 514

Christian Dickinson, Review of Richard Hughes Gibson, Forgiveness in Victorian Literature: Grammar, Narrative, and Community 518

Benjamin C. Parker, Review of Colin Duriez, Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien, and the Shadow of Evil 521

Jeffrey Bilbro, Review of Wendell Berry, This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 524

Janet McCann, Review of Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, Waking My Mother; Martha Serpas, The Diener 528

Claudia Stokes, Review of Leland Ryken, A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible 532

Maurice Hunt, Review of Sarah Beckwith, Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness 535


Matt Malyon, "The Meal" 540


2015 Lionel Basney Award Citation 541

Christianity & Literature Volume 65, Issue 3 (September 2016)

Special Issue: The Environmental Imagation


Mark Eaton, "The Environmental Imagination"

Joshua Mabie, "The Field is Ripe: Christian Literary Scholarship, Postcolonial Ecocriticism, and Environmentalism" 

Paul Willis, "'He Hath Builded the Mountains': John Muir's God of the Glaciers" 

William Tate, "Avian Diptych: Richard Wilbur's Flights of the Imagination"

Jeffrey R. Bilbro, "The Ecology of Memory: Augustine, Eliot, and the Form of Wendell Berry's Fiction"

Richard Rankin Russell, "Embodying Place: Ecotheology and Deep Incarnation in Cormac McCarthy's The Road"

Lawrence Buell, "Afterword"

Julia Spicher Kasdorf, "A Pastor and Part-Time Security Guard Wonders about the Work Ethic"

Christianity & Literature Volume 65, Issue 2 (March 2016) 

J. Russell Perkin, “Matthew Arnold, the Oxford Movement, and the stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse”

Suzanne Stewart, “Gerard Manley Hopkins: Sensuality and Spirituality in the Diaries and Journals”

Laurie Camp Hatch, “Gerard Manley Hopkins and Victorian Approaches to the Problems of Perception: Affirming the Metaphysical in the Physical”

Michael Edwards, “A Magic, Unquiet Body”

Jo-Anne Cappeluti, “W.H. Auden’s For The Time Being: Christian Proof? Aesthetic Possibility?”

Anthony Domestico, “‘Clampitt and the Cloisters”

Sofia M. Starnes, “Another Life”

Valerie Wohfield, “Vale of Siddim”

Review Essay
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, “Poetry, the Power of the Pen, & the Redemption of Time” 


Read excerpts from the book, Imago Dei, featuring poetry from 60 years of Christianity & Literature.