The Writer and the Cross

Interviews with Authors of Christian Historical Fiction


In stock

About the Book

Spiritually engaged readers commonly look toward fiction to better understand the depth of a faithful life, and Christians are no exception. Many followers of Jesus value beautifully written, deftly characterized and pulse-quickening literary art that seems more satisfying than dry, tedious doctrinal textbooks.
This book surveys 12 pieces of historical fiction that feature notable Christian thinkers. They include an illustrated children’s book about St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a novel about Martin Luther’s Reformation, a screenplay focusing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and even a story about Pope Francis narrated in popular manga style. Rather than arcane literary analyses, this book provides thoughtful and sometimes painful interviews with the authors of the covered works. Most interviewees are little known or emerging writers. Some have published their work with a church or denominational press, others with a major publishing empire or popular print-on-demand platforms. Storytellers reflect on their literary choices and the contexts of their writing, sharing what modern Christians can learn from historical religious fiction.

About the Author(s)

Darren J.N. Middleton (PhD, University of Glasgow) is director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and professor of literature and theology at Baylor University. He has written, edited, or contributed to many books and has lectured extensively on the alliance between Christian doctrine and the arts.

Bibliographic Details

Darren J.N. Middleton
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 281
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7852-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4679-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Part One. The Patristic Period, c. 100–451 9
1. Sinclair B. Ferguson (St. Irenaeus of Lyons) 10
2. Tim J. Young (St. Athanasius) 26
3. Arlon K. Stubbe (St. John Chrysostom) 50
Part Two. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, c. 500–1500 75
4. Mary Sharratt (St. Hildegard von Bingen) 76
5. Joan Mueller (St. Francis of Assisi) 97
6. Margaret O’Reilly (St. Thomas Aquinas) 110
Part Three. The Reformation and Post-Reformation Periods, c. 1500–1750 135
7. Sarah Baughman (Martin Luther) 136
8. Douglas Bond (John Calvin) 150
9. Lynne Basham Tagawa (George Whitefield) 168
Part Four. The Modern Period, c. 1750 to the Present Day 179
10. Caroline Coleman (Søren Kierkegaard) 180
11. William Wilson (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) 192
12. Regina Doman (Pope Francis) 208
Appendix I. Guide to Further Reading—Fiction 227
Appendix II. Guide to Further Reading—­Non-Fiction 234
Chapter Notes 247
Index 263