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Christian literature is the literary aspect of Christian media, and it constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing.
While falling within the strict definition of literature, the Bible is not generally considered literature. However, the Bible has been treated and appreciated as literature; the King James Version in particular has long been considered a masterpiece of English prose, whatever may be thought of its religious significance. Several retellings of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, have also been made with the aim of emphasising its literary qualities.
Devotionals are often used by Christians in order to help themselves grow closer in their relationship with God and learn how to put their faith into practice.
Letters, theological treatises and other instructive and devotional works have been produced by Christian authors since the times of Jesus. For early Christian times almost all writing would be non-fiction, including letters, biblical commentaries, doctrinal works and hagiography. See Patristics.
Since the invention of the printing press non-fictional literature has been used for the dissemination of the Christian message, and also for disseminating different viewpoints within Christianity. The tract (a small pamphlet containing an explanation of some point, or an appeal to the reader) was in use at the time of the Reformation and continues to be used as a part of proselytization.
Allegory is a style of literature having the form of a story, but using symbolic figures, actions, or representations to express truths—Christian truths, in the case of Christian allegory. Beginning with the parables of Jesus, there has been a long tradition of Christian allegory, including Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy , John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress , and Hannah Hurnard's Hinds' Feet on High Places .
Christian fiction is sometimes harder to define than Christian non-fiction. Christian themes are not always explicit. Some Christian fiction, such as that of C. S. Lewis, draws on the allegorical writings of the past. There can also be argument as to whether the works of a Christian author are necessarily Christian fiction. For example, while there are undoubted Christian themes within J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings ,they are always kept below the surface. Other possible examples of Christian fiction include the works of G. K. Chesterton and George Macdonald.
In the last few decades the existence of a Christian subculture, particularly in North America, has given rise to a specific genre of Christian novel, written by and for Christians of a particular type (i.e., conservative Evangelical Protestants), and generally with explicit Christian themes. Unlike the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, such novels are often marketed exclusively to Christians and sold in Christian bookshops. The Christy Awards honour excellence in this genre.
In the late 20th century, with the rise of the Christian Right in American society, Christian-themed fiction has thrived. Examples include the works of Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Randy Alcorn, Francine Rivers, Wayne Thomas Batson, and Janette Oke.
Within the field of Christian fiction smaller niche markets have emerged aimed at specific denominations, notably Catholic fiction and Latter Day Saints Fiction. There are also Christian fiction that is aimed at wider mainstream audiences, such as the best selling Left Behind series.
Throughout the medieval period churches in Europe frequently performed mystery plays, retelling the stories of the Bible. These became widespread in Europe by the end of the fifteenth century. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries these developed into the Morality play, an allegorical play intended to exhort the audience to the virtuous life.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries theatre was generally seen as wicked, and the church made attempts to suppress it.[ citation needed ] In the twentieth century churches, particularly evangelical churches, rediscovered the use of theatre as a form of outreach and as a valid art form.
Christianity & Literature is a peer-reviewed literary periodical, published quarterly, on literature's encounters with Christian thought and history. The journal presupposes no particular theological orientation but respects an orthodox understanding of Christianity as a historically defined faith. It is published by Sage and currently is edited by Mark Eaton, Matthew Smith, and Caleb Spencer, faculty at Azusa Pacific University.
(philosophy, plays, lyrical poetry, biography, narrative writings, novels included, most of the theological and hagiographical works are not included )
Mere Christianity is a Christian apologetical book by the British author C. S. Lewis. It was adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1941 and 1944, originally published as three separate volumes: Broadcast Talks (1942), Christian Behaviour (1943), and Beyond Personality (1944). The book consists of four parts: the first presents Lewis's arguments for the existence of God; the second contains his defence of Christian theology, including his notable "Liar, lunatic, or Lord" trilemma; the third has him exploring Christian ethics, among which cardinal and theological virtues; in the final, he writes on the Christian conception of God.
The New Testament (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. The New Testament's background, the first division of the Christian Bible, is called the Old Testament, which is based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible; together they are regarded as sacred scripture by Christians.
Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer. Widely considered a giant of modern Greek literature, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in nine different years.
Francis August Schaeffer was an American evangelical theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He co-founded the L'Abri community in Switzerland with his wife Edith Schaeffer, née Seville, a prolific author in her own right. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted what he claimed was a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age. Schaeffer was the father of the author, film-maker, and painter Frank Schaeffer.
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English Catholic priest, theologian, author, and radio broadcaster. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he earned a high reputation as a classicist, Knox was ordained as a priest of the Church of England in 1912. He was a fellow and chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford until he resigned from those positions following his conversion to Catholicism in 1917. Knox became a Catholic priest in 1918, continuing in that capacity his scholarly and literary work.
Systematic theology, or systematics, is a discipline of Christian theology that formulates an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It addresses issues such as what the Bible teaches about certain topics or what is true about God and His universe. It also builds on biblical disciplines, church history, as well as biblical and historical theology. Systematic theology shares its systematic tasks with other disciplines such as constructive theology, dogmatics, ethics, apologetics, and philosophy of religion.
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian poet, born in the Roman province of Tarraconensis in 348. He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413. The place of his birth is uncertain, but it may have been Caesaraugusta (Saragossa), Tarraco (Tarragona), or Calagurris (Calahorra).
Christian existentialism is a theo-philosophical movement which takes an existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) who is widely regarded as the father of existentialism.
In Christian tradition, the seven heavenly virtues combine the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude with the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Hugh of Saint Victor, was a Saxon canon regular and a leading theologian and writer on mystical theology.
Christian poetry is any poetry that contains Christian teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold. Christian poems often directly reference the Bible, while others provide allegory.
The four senses of Scripture is a four-level method of interpreting the Bible. This method originated in Judaism and was taken up in Christianity by the Church Fathers.
Christian apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity.
A Christian novel is a Christian literary novel which features Christian media genre conventions.
The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another, with a few short-lived reunifications since the East–West Schism of 1054. That original schism was exacerbated by historical and language differences, and the ensuing theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches.
The term Bible fiction refers to works of fiction which use characters, settings and events taken from the Bible. The degree of fictionalization in these works varies and, although they are often written by Christians or Jews, this is not always the case.
A biblical canon is a set of texts which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as part of the Bible.
Christian Latin literature has a long history with its foundations being laid during the 4th and 5th centuries. They included the church fathers Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Ambrose, and the first great Christian poet, Prudentius.
Matirxmoments Modern Christian Poetry