ERIC Number: ED326868
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Religious Dimension in Recent Notable Adolescent Novels.
Cotton, Rickey A.
A study examined notable contemporary novels published for adolescents to determine the extent of religious concerns and issues in the critical dialogue. Twenty-four novels published for adolescents on Donelson and Nilsen's Honor Listing for 1982-86 were examined. Eleven of these novels were found to have a strong religious dimension, indicating that not only is religion a significant aspect of the protagonist's milieu, but also that the protagonist is strongly involved in religious issues or situations. The religious contexts vary dramatically, including, as examples, contemporary witchcraft, Eskimo pantheism, the African "mystery tradition," and traditional Protestant and Catholic spiritual experiences. Additionally, four novels were found to have a moderate religious dimension, indicating that while religion is a significant aspect of the protagonist's milieu, the protagonist is not strongly involved in religious issues or situations. Nine novels had little or no religious dimension. These findings suggest that quality adolescent literature requires a response to the religious dimension. Literature teachers in public schools should recognize the validity and importance of religious issues in the literature as well as in the lives of their students, without promoting or denigrating specific religious orientations in their instruction. (One table containing categories of novels is included; 18 references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (80th, Atlanta, GA, November 16-21, 1990).