The Silence of God in the Modern Catholic Novel: Graham Greene and French Catholic Novelists Adopting a Pascalian Deus Absconditus Perspective on Faith, Truth and Reason

  • Anne Loddegaard (Foredragsholder)

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The paper examines the religious and aesthetic modernity of the interwar and post war Catholic novel using a combined narratological and Pascalian approach. The Catholic novels of Graham Greene, Julien Green, Francois Mauriac and Georges Bernanos are often connected with the literary Catholic revival emerging in the 1880s. I insist, however, that the modern, open Catholic novel emerging after the First World War and based on a Pascalian Deus Absconditus must be distinguished from the traditional, closed novel of the revival (1880-1914), which displays a providential God communicating through divinely omniscient narrators. In the modern Catholic novel, the Pascalian Deus Absconditus implies that the believer's confinement to an uncertain, human perspective produces/shapes religious open-mindedness and tolerance. The analysis of Graham Greene's Catholic novels aims at showing how the "pascalisation" of the modern Catholic novel is established through modernist narrative techniques (characterization, plot, narrative voice and focalisation), and that the very modernity of Greene's Catholic novels to a great extent is indebted to Blaise Pascal's "Pensées" from 1670.
Periode17 jul. 2008
BegivenhedstitelAllusions to God in Prose and Poetry. An Interdisciplinary Perspective
ArrangørOxford Round Table
PlaceringOxford, StorbritannienVis på kort