Masterplots II: Christian Literature captures the breadth of Christian literature - both fiction and nonfiction - by selecting more than 500 of the greatest and most representative works identified with the genre. At the core of this work are the fiction and nonfiction "classics" to which most students and general readers - Christian or secular - will be exposed at some time in their lives, from Saint Augustine's "Confessions to John" Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" to C. S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters". Many titles represent the "boom" in Christian literature of the past three decades, from the "Left Behind" series to "The Da Vinci Code". While several of the titles were not written exclusively for a Christian audience, all works covered in these volumes have been taught or analyzed from a Christian perspective. The bulk of the titles in our list, however, overtly emphasize the Christian experience. In many cases, these works were written expressly for the purpose of addressing Christian concerns or simply providing a good "Christian read."
The scope is broad not only generically but also temporally and geographically, with works by authors as diverse as Gustavo Gutierrez, Immaculee Ilibagiza, J. N. Mugambi, and Fumitaka Matsuoka and dates of publication ranging from Christian times to the 21st century. Titles in all the major genres are included: drama, from Everyman to Jesus Christ, Superstar; poetry, from "The Dream of the Rood" to Mark Jarman's "Questions for Ecclesiastes"; and the best of Christian genre fiction, including romance, mystery, and science fiction, as well as literary fiction. We have contemporary and often controversial blockbusters such as C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" and Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life". The best-seller status of both testifies to the growing revival of interest in the genre of Christian literature.
The set is arranged alphabetically by title, and each essay (averaging approximately 1,600 words, or 4-5 pages) is divided into sections in a predictable format that allows easy access to text discussions: Title: Title of the work (when originally not in English, the title best known in English publication); Author: Name by which the author is best known, followed in parentheses by years of birth and death; First published: Year in which the original work first appeared, plus any original foreign-language title; Edition Used: For classic works and translations; Genre: Drama, nonfiction, novel, novella, poetry, or short fiction; Subgenres: Each title's subgenre or subgenres are listed, from Adventure and Allegory to Theology and Thriller; Core Issues: Lists key subjects of particular importance in the Christian experience; Abstract: This key paragraph highlights the work's content and Christian significance in a capsule summary; and, Principal Characters: Lists the major characters.
It also includes Overview: Detailed summary of and commentary on the work's content (the meat of the essay); Christian Themes: Examines critically the issues of the work in the Christian context; Sources for Further Study: Offers a listing of readily available secondary reference material on the work and its author. Bibliographical notes appear for each source; and, Contributor Byline: The scholar or expert who wrote the entry.show more