Literary Response: The Alchemist

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A JOURNEY OF RELIGION AND LITERATURE THROUGH THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS! A study with a cross reference to The Alchemist. Anitha Rajan Fr. Rinoj James Vattakkanayil Assistant Professor Principal Department of Science and Humanities Chavara International Academy Viswajyothi College of Engineering Vazhakulam Sitting in a tearoom in a shopping centre (not big enough to be a mall), a writer noticed an emergency exit with the notice, ‘This door is alarmed’, and began to wonder why a door should be worried. Of course, he knew that it was not meant to read it that way, but he could, because the language is multivalent. It is a literary reading, if you like; if you don’t, you might think it paranoia, but then there has often been a close…show more content…
The easy conclusion might be that a Christian approach needs to look back, to critics of literature from the Christian tradition like T.S. Eliot or C.S. Lewis, if not quite as far as Philip Sidney or Samuel Johnson. Yet that is to close off debate, and to retreat into a mere comfort zone. Many contemporary Christian critics, such as Valentine Cunningham in In the Reading Gaol, Kevin Mills in Justifying Language and John Schad, most recently in Queer Fish: Christian Unreason from Darwin to Derrida, have confronted the challenge of deconstruction with more subtlety and respect than a search and destroy mission (as does Jacobs, above). Equally, we need to recognise that some of the most influential philosopher-critics of the recent past have been much involved with religion, Derrida especially. Some of them, such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Paul Ricoeur, have done so from a Christian perspective that needs a bit of uncovering, but it is undoubtedly there (see, for example, Ruth Coates, Christianity in Bakhtin, and the concluding chapter of Graham Pechey, Mikhail Bakhtin: The Word in the

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