Car la Lettre tue mais l’Esprit vivifie : une relecture des textes bibliques selon Elizabeth Gaskell For the Letter Killeth, but the Spirit Giveth Life: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Rewriting of the Gospels
histoire des idées
history of ideas
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
DOAJ:Philosophy and Religion
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AbstractAs the anonymous author of “The Hard Church Novel” underlined in his article, “Theology and Literature – the study of God and the study of Man – need to go hand in hand, and are only just beginning to know it”. The links between literature and religion are in fact much older than we might imagine when reading this statement; however, it is a fact that the Victorian period was a time when many authors tried to reconcile secular writing and the Scriptures, to the extent that a new literary genre, the religious novel, was born. Although Elizabeth Gaskell’s works do not belong to this category, she set her heart on reconciling her vocation as a novelist with her beliefs as a Christian. Unlike her husband, she was not a Minister and therefore her own way of preaching the Word of God was to write fiction. She was convinced that the Pharisees had not disappeared with the Advent of Christ and, in her novels, she used her own, sometimes unorthodox, interpretation and rewriting of the Gospels to convert the Pharisees of her own time to the true essence of Christianity. Indeed, her Unitarian education granted her a greater freedom than most of her contemporaries in terms of biblical exegesis, as we can see in many of her works, but most particularly in Ruth, in which the eponymous heroine, a fallen woman, is not only described as a Magdalen but soon turns into a Madonna and then a Christ-like figure.