“[I]t is a mistake for Christians to see fiction as the opposite of truth. Instead, fiction should be seen as the opposite of fact. Truth, moreover, for the Christian is not merely the recital of facts that are a part of the empirical world of reality. Truth for the Christian resides in the larger purposes of God and the universe—purposes that are realized only partially through human reason—purposes that may be realized more fully through the processes of the imagination.”
The primary mission of the Seventh-day Adventist teacher of literature may be that of inspiring students to explore for themselves how the reading of literature can enrich personal faith in God. With this book, Delmer Davis encourages further conversation regarding the integration of faith and the teaching of literature. By introducing the writings and ideas of notable Seventh-day Adventists and other Christians who have grappled with the interrelationship between literature and Christian belief, Dr. Davis offers literature teachers and students of literature the opportunity to examine the implications such integration has for their teaching, scholarship, and spiritual lives.
As teacher of English at four Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities for nearly four decades, Delmer Davis is well prepared to examine a Christian approach to literature and to discuss the integration of one’s relationship with God to the reading of literature. Courses he has taught include Religion and Literature, Christian Faith and the Humanities, and Perspectives on Literature. Dr. Davis has chaired the English Departments at Loma Linda University and Andrews University and has also served as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice President for Academic Administration at Andrews University where he is currently Professor of English and Director of General Education.
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1. Introduction: What Is Literature and Why Read It?
2. Literary Theory and Issues of the Canon
3. Christianity and Literature
4. Seventh-day Adventists, Literature, and Ellen White
5. Seventh-day Adventists and the Bible as Literature
6. Seventh-day Adventists, Literary Theory, and Literary Criticism
Appendix A: Guide to the Teaching of Literature in Seventh-day Adventist Schools
Appendix B: The Institute for Christian Teaching
Appendix C: The Center for College Faith