Many novels have been written from the point of view of someone railing against an oppressive religious upbringing. Few, however, are as funny yet sympathetic as Miriam Toews’s outstanding third novel, which won last year’s Governor General’s Award in Canada. Toews beat out Alice Munro for the prize—no mean feat.
Anne rice, well-known author of many novels about vampires, has returned to the Roman Catholic Church and turned her writing energies to the subject of Jesus. I couldn’t help being intrigued. Perhaps there is a sense in which Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is a response to years of battling with the undead.
For Catholics and Protestants alike, Augustine’s views of grace and freedom have set the theological agenda. His trinitarian theology, his account of evil and his views on the relationship between the church and secular government also continue to be the subject of fierce debate.
Elizabeth Marquardt’s book sat on my shelf for many weeks. I really wanted to read it. I had heard about her research and had been intrigued. Yet I kept avoiding actually opening the book. It does not take a shrink to tell me I was avoiding it because I didn’t want to take a look into this particular mirror.