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Vol 2011 no1 (Posted August 2011)

Literature ||Children's Health, RIghts and Literature||



The Reluctant Pilgrim:  Allusions to Spiritual Images and Themes in J. R. R. Tolkien’s  “Leaf by Niggle.”
Suellen Alfred, Professor, English Education, Tennessee Technological University

All good children’s  literature can be read through  a stratification of layers lying just beneath the surface of the literal.J. R. R. Tolkien’s modest story, “Leaf by Niggle, is no exception.  This story about a simple man who becomes obsessed with  completing an enormous painting contains implicit allusions to Christian images and themes such as the Tree of Knowledge, the importance of the parable of the good Samaritan,  preparation for eternity, the effects of  on the soul, and the idea that God can perfect humans’ imperfection.   This paper explores those allusions and themes as they emerge within the story. 

Refocusing the Kaleidoscope: The Protagonists Who Illuminate Mollie Hunter’s Journey
Susan A. Cooper, Professor of Education, Wesley College

An exploration of eclectic titles by renowned Scottish author Mollie Hunter led to the publication of “A Voyage of Discovery: Exploring a Kaleidoscope of Religion and Culture in the Writings of Mollie Hunter,” Adventures, Fantasy and Dreams in Children’s Literature.  The titles examined crossed genre and generations, but were bound by a common thread.
A revelation of literary and personal significance was unearthed during that investigation: Ms Hunter and her protagonists were engaged in parallel spiritual journeys, each seeking a meaningful relationship with God.  This epiphany was an illumination for Mollie Hunter who had declared God dead when her beloved father succumbed to war injuries in 1931.  This insight provided the impetuous to refocus the kaleidoscope and broaden the lens to include philosophy, personal correspondence and conversations with Ms Hunter.  Titles were carefully selected to reflect the genres in which she has published: non-fiction, fiction, fantasy, historical fiction and folklore.  The query continued the consideration of the analogous quests of the author and the characters about whom she writes.


The Legacy of Darwin in the Land of Robert Frost
Nancy Nahra, Professor of Humanities, Champlain College

The discussion of Religion and Science easily and conventionally situates itself in the context of religious considerations or in that of science, in either case lending itself to a discussion of tests of various kinds tending toward attempts at proof or arguments setting out to disprove the necessity or validity of such proofs as are proposed. Rather than relying on either of these approaches, this essay proposes a means of opening up the discussion by repositioning its center and relying, in fact, on what must accurately be described as an eccentric view, that is to say, a view from outside the center. The third  place used here has, in its own tradition, been associated at times with science and at times with religion, which suggests its suitability for use now in the hope that it does not a priori necessarily privilege of either of those sides. The third place referred to is poetry, a terrain available for the present discussion, keeping in mind that in the past Lucretius relied on poetry to popularize the scientific ideas of Epicurus.







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