"Are you distressed by religious certainty and disturbed by secular dogmatism? Then this is the book for you. Through inspired readings of DeLillo, Pynchon, Morrison and others McClure charts post secular visions that transcend both regimes. To receive his account is to see that we already participate in a noble movement larger than we had imagined. This book is indispensable for our time."
—William E. Connolly, author Pluralism
"In the weakness, limit, and partiality of postsecular faith, John McClure has the courage to show us the residual supernaturalism and strength of religious life. He not only shows us the appealing religious pluralism of writers such as Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo, but reveals the ways these and other writers offer us something else as well: a religious imagination where pluralism does not render impossible the full range of religious experience. In McClure's generous vision, and in the vision of the writers he engages, saints and angels and divine visitations can be embraced without condescension and without fundamentalism. McClure is a discerning reader, and his work here will change how we understand, and divide up, the landscape of contemporary fiction."
Postsecularism is most often associated with philosophers and theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, William Connolly, Jürgen Habermas, and Gianni Vattimo. But it is also being explored and invented, says John A. McClure, by many novelists: Leslie Marmon Silko, Don DeLillo, Michael Ondaatje, and N. Scott Momaday among others. These novelists, who are often regarded as belonging to different domains of contemporary fiction, are fleshing out the postsecular issues that scholars treat more abstractly.
But the modes of belief elaborated in these novels and the new narrative forms synchronized with these modes are dramatically partial and open-ended. Postsecular fiction does not aspire to any full “mapping” of the reenchanted cosmos or any formal moral code, nor does it promise anything like full redemption. It is partial in another sense as well: it is emphatically dedicated to progressive ideals of social transformation and well-being, in repudiation of resurgent fundamentalist prescriptions for the same.
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