ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Fall 2022, Section 004 - The Catholic Novel
Instruction Mode: Section 004 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Scholars define a Catholic novel not by the religious identity of its author but by how closely the mainspring of its dramatic action depends upon Roman Catholic ideas or theology. A significant literary achievement, the Catholic novel is primarily associated with a group of British and American authors who were writing in the mid-twentieth century while contemplating the horrors of modernity: two world wars, ethnic and religious genocides, the rise of totalitarian states, the false promises of consumerism and scientism, and the haunting sense of an ending – of a world that seemed to be expiring (not with a bang but a whimper). Catholic novels do not proselytize – they are written by artists not evangelists – but they do tell powerful stories about broken people exercising free will in a fallen world, about the mystery and silence of God, about incarnation and atonement, and about temptation, sin, and redemption. These works are about the meaning – and the difficulty – of life, from a Catholic point of view.

In this course students will learn about Catholic thought and doctrine, the relationships between religion and culture, the religious turn in literary studies, and the works of our authors: Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, Muriel Spark, and Walker Percy. This class will be a safe space for discussions of First Causes and Last Days, a literary exploration of what Blaise Pascal described as the “God-shaped vacuum in the human heart.”



ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
002 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
004 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

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