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

Managing Editor
Katy Wright-Bushman


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

  • Once accepted, you will be asked to submit your poem or poems to ScholarOne Manuscripts: 
  • Please be sure to include all relevant contact information along with poem or poems: name, address, and especially your email. 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


Guest Editor: Kimberly Johnson (BYU)

After a couple of decades in which the more content-based readings of cultural criticism privileged forms like the novel, drama, and the short story, literary scholarship is returning its attention to poetry and poetics, and scholars with increasing frequency are producing work that recognizes the interanimations of culture and aesthetic form. In some historical fields, this turn to the aesthetic has been especially pronounced; for example, early modern studies has experienced in recent years an efflorescence in scholarship on poetry, in part because of the ways in which poetics and materialist approaches have converged around the culturally provocative topic of religion. Still, critical examinations of poetry in periods beyond the Renaissance’s religious hotbed have been slower to consider how the structures and practices of the Christian tradition may affect the aesthetic strategies of poems.

This special issue of Christianity & Literature will explore the ways in which poetics historically has responded to Christian practice across periods and contexts. By poetics we mean those figures and structures of poetic texts distinct from (though functioning in mutual reinforcement or productive tension with) the denotative content of a poem’s words: tropes and wordplay, meter, rhyme and other sonic recurrences, graphic organization, and other formal strategies that emphasize the materiality of language. This issue seeks to examine how poetic practice has been variously informed by and resistant to the material valences of Christianity as expressed in its liturgies, its architecture, its art and music, its lexicons and textualities, its doctrines (to enumerate just a few potential sites of investigation). Bringing together essays that consider poetic texts from a range of historical periods, this issue seeks to expand the conversation about poetic responses to Christian worship.

Deadline: We will begin reviewing submissions on January 1, 2018 and will continue to review until the final deadline of March 1, 2018. 

Submissions: Please submit essays to Check “yes” under the field asking whether the submission is for a special issue, and specify “Poetics/Praxis.” Essays should be 6000-9000 words in length and should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Direct inquiries about the issue to Guest Editor Kimberly Johnson ( and Matthew J. Smith (, Associate Editor.




The Conference on Christianity and Literature is pleased to name Brigitte N. McCray as the recipient of the 2017 Lionel Basney Award for her essay “‘Good landscapes be but lies’: W. H. Auden, the Second World War, and Haunted Places,” published in Volume 66, Number 2 of Christianity & Literature. McCray’s essay responds to the claim that Auden’s poetry is silent or even “trivial” with regard to the horrors of World War II; according to McCray, Auden’s elegies written during the war and his later place-based poems are significant because they attempt “to leave a trace of the dead. If the war’s aim, especially the Nazis’ genocide, is an attempt to leave an absence, then the poet’s duty is at least to make possible the presence.” The essay expands the possibilities of poetry’s Christian witness, using the unfamiliar framework of “hauntology” in combination with a theology of Holy Saturday, both of which call for a witness “situated between life and death.” While witness testifying to the crucifixion and resurrection is necessary, we often neglect the importance of the in-between state, which McCray connects to post-war trauma. As Auden’s later poetry suggests, “one must walk the geography and live with the ghosts in order to witness ethically.” McCray’s essay deftly interweaves theory, theology, history, and close reading to make an argument that achieves global significance in its implications for Christian art’s responses to suffering. For these qualities, “‘Good landscapes be but lies’: W. H. Auden, the Second World War, and Haunted Places” wins the 2017 Basney Award.



Hamlet contemplates killing Claudius at prayer.
Christianity & Literature Volume 67, Issue 2 (March 2018)


1. Lee Oser, “Free Will in Hamlet?: Shakespeare’s Consciousness of the Great Debate between Erasmus and Luther”

2. Daniel Ritchie, “Choosing Rest in Paradise Lost

3. Stephen Purcell, “Not Wholly Communion: Scepticism and the Instrumentalization of Religion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

4. Helena Tomko, "A Good Laugh Is Hard to Find: From Destructive Satire to Sacramental Humor in Evelyn Waugh’s Helena"

5.Gillian Steinberg, “’Look into the Darkness’: Mark Jarman's Unholy Sonnets”

6. Jerry Harp, “Father Ong as Cultural Critic”

7. Alex Mouw, “Berryman’s Sickness unto Death"



1. James Ryan Lee, “Sons and Daughters”

2. Rupert Loydell, “Annunciations”


Book Reviews

1. Steven Blackburn / Jarbel Rodriguez, ed., Muslim and Christian Contact in the Middle Ages: A Reader

2. Rosanne Gasse/ Virginia Langum, Medicine and the Seven Deadly Sins in Late Medieval Literature and Culture

3. Gaelan Gilbert/ Norm Klassen, The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision: Chaucer on Overcoming Tyranny and Becoming Ourselves

4. Michael Calabrese / Sheryl Overmeyer, Two Guides for the Journey: Thomas Aquinas and William Langland on the Virtues.

5. Kevin Hart / David Marno, Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention

6. John Leonard / David Quint, Inside “Paradise Lost”: Reading the Designs of Milton’s Epic

7. Jack B. Bedell / Philip C. Kolin, Benedict’s Daughter: Poems

8. David E. Settje / Daniel Cosacchi and Eric Martin, eds., The Berrigan Letters: Personal Correspondence between Daniel and Philip Berrigan




Christianity & Literature Volume 67, Issue 1 (December 2017)

Special Issue: Sincerity, edited by Caleb D. Spencer and Matthew J. Smith


Matthew J. Smith and Caleb D. Spencer, “Preface”

1. Matthew J. Smith, “w/Sincerity, Part 1: The Drama of the Will from Augustine to Milton”

2. R. Jay Magill, Jr., “Turn Away the World: How a curious fifteenth-century spiritual guidebook shaped the contours of the Reformation and taught readers to turn inward”

3. Scott L. Newstok, “‘Here Lies’: Sincerity and Insincerity in Early Modern Epitaphs Onstage”

4. Joshua R. Held, “Caliban and the Rhetoric of Sincerity: Postcolonialism, Performance, and the Self”

5. David V. Urban, “The Falls of Satan, Eve, and Adam in Milton's Paradise Lost: A Study in Insincerity”

6. David Parry, “A Divine Kind of Rhetoric”: Rhetorical Strategy and Spirit-Wrought Sincerity in English Puritan Writing"

7. Jeffrey Galbraith, “Satire, Sincerity, and Swift’s ‘Exploded’ Gospel”

8. Markéta Dudová, “Insincerity Overboard: Sincerity and Nausea in Byron’s Don Juan

9. Caleb D. Spencer, “w/Sincerity, Part 2: Why Irony is Romantic”

Margaret Russett, “Afterword”



1. Rupert Loydell, “Annunciations”

2. Marjorie Maddox, “Caesura”

3. Marjorie Maddox, “Begin with a Question”

4. Richard Spilman, “Archolochus”


Book Reviews

1. Ched Spellman / Keith Houston, The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time

2. Benjamin Meyers / William Woolfitt, Charles of the Desert: A Life in Verse

3. Stephen Barnes / Peter Lamarque, The Opacity of Narrative

4. Josh Skinner / Joseph R. Wiebe, The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity

5. StevenKnepper / Terry Eagleton, Hope without Optimism

6. Robert Stanley / Vladimir Volkoff, The Torturer

7. Crystal Hurd / Corey Latta, C.S. Lewis and the Art of Writing: What the Essayist, Novelist, Literary Critic, Apologist, Memoirist, Theologian Teaches Us about the Life and Craft of Writing

8. David V. Urban / Justin Buckley Dyer and Micah J. Watson, C. S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law

9. Jack B. Bedell / Philip C. Kolin, Benedict’s Daughter

10. Austin Sill / Adam S. Miller, The Gospel According to David Foster Wallace: Boredom and Addiction in and Age of Distraction




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