[Milton-L] "the only great Christian writer this nation has produced"

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 12:11:41 EST 2010

O'Connor seems an orthodox enough Roman Catholic, and believed that her own
writing was possible because her doctrine gave her a way of seeing things.
It's very doubtful to me that the capacity for creative imagination is
linked to specific belief in any direct way -- O'Connor would probably have
been a great writer if she were an atheist or a Muslim.  The true irony is
that she's hailed as an orthodox Christian by Evangelicals but wouldn't be
allowed to teach at many Evangelical colleges in the US because she is
Catholic.  O'Connor would be denied a teaching position at Wheaton even
though she is beloved by Evangelical Christian scholars.  I'm curious if
she'd get hired at Baylor.

Jim R

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM, Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
> wrote:

> The problem with all such value judgements is that they depend upon various
> definition arguments. From reading Flannery O'Connor, for instance, I'd be
> inclined to seriously question her "orthodoxy." Indeed -- an idle thought --
> might "greatness" and "orthodoxy" usually exist in writers in inverse
> proportion? But then of course "greatness" is even more difficult to define.
> And what, moreover, makes a writer "religious"? I'd make a case for both
> Whitman and Dickinson as religious, though they were far from orthodox.
> Certainly great. I suppose we could even debate the parameters of
> "American." What about T.S. Eliot?
> Hannibal
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