This text discusses the importance for theology of narrative and story. The central contention of the book is that, if Jesus' parables are taken as models of theological reflection, there is a form there that unites language, belief and life. A theology taking its cues from parables finds that the genres most closely associated with it are the poem, the novel and the autobiography. These become the prime resources for the theologian who tries to show how insight occurs through language, how one comes to this moment of belief, and how one works it out in one's own life. The author discusses such important works as Alan Paton's "Cry the Beloved Country"; J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings"; "The Violent Bear it Away" by Flannery O'Connor; the science fiction of C.S. Lewis; and the fantasies of Charles Williams.
Sallie McFague is Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt University.