Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The transnational turn in literary studies has brought new rubrics and critical vocabularies to the study of cultures experiencing the destabilizing effects of globalization. It gives special attention to the ways cultural forms, including literature, must be reformulated in the absence of the coherence of the nation-state. Often unremarked upon, however, is the role of religion in providing other channels of affinity around which to cohere. Many writers in the 20th century respond to the shocks of globalizing modernity by writing in light of particular faith traditions, especially the aesthetic strategies and thematic concerns that characterize the Catholic literary tradition. This project examines three authors who identify with this tradition but repurpose it for literary visions of the global future that arise from particular locations and interests. It argues for Graham Greene's concern with expansive moral horizons in two novels from his early "Catholic cycle," The Power and the Glory and The Heart of the Matter. It examines the ways global forces invade and transform Flannery O'Connor's American South in ways that demand new vision. Finally, the project argues that the novels Silence and Deep River by Japanese author Shusaku Endo present visions of religious practice across cultural and national boundaries. The works examined here evince the principles that animate Catholic literary modernism while presenting sometimes competing, sometimes complementary visions of the responsibilities those principles demand in a globalizing era.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.