Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Doug Sonheim

Second Advisor

Dr. Tully Borland

Third Advisor

Mr. Donnie Copeland

Abstract

My goal in this paper is to support O’Connor’s claim that fiction is “incarnational” by providing additional evidence and addressing implications that she doesn’t. I am professing that fiction-writing is indeed “incarnational,” in even more ways than O’Connor directly expresses. If this thesis holds true, then it is difficult for Christians to rightly make light of the art of story-writing. Contempt for creative writers is tempered in our time more by a trend toward tolerance than by public or personal conviction of the human need for storytellers. Even in an environment where making money and tending to physical needs and desires is prioritized, telling stories is essential. Although it would seem that Christians hold an advantage in understanding the significance of artistic creation, many who set out to follow Christ discount or greatly underestimate the importance of storytelling. Art is a spiritual endeavor, healing and stimulating the soul. Stories in particular, in that they are art, are also spiritual. But they are not just that. As Flannery O’Connor proclaims, they are “an incarnational art,” as much physical as they are spiritual, as paradoxical as God Himself in the flesh.

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