Author

Lucy Shafik

Abstract

My thesis explores the role of the self in spiritual narratives, adopting the philosophical perspectives of Plato, Aristotle, and Kierkegaard as modes of apprehending the reader's inward response to literature. I examine patterns of spiritual awakening in St. Augustine's Confessions, Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", and T. S. Eliot's The Family Reunion, tracing and retracing phases in the protagonist's life, which lead to a crucial moment of conversion. I attempt to show how each character's experience acquires spiritual meaning on the basis of transformative insights and demonstrates its potential to shape the self. The purpose of the thesis is to allow the religious point of view to cast light on secular literature and to address various ways of approaching religious truths on a textual basis. In offering a religious response to secular spheres of culture, including art and philosophy, the thesis indicates how theology provides insights into literary texts that are concerned with ultimate meaning.

Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award

6-1-2017

Online Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Melaney, William

Committee Member 1

Nimis, Stephen

Committee Member 2

Nasser, Tahia Abdel

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

67 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

IRB

Approval has been obtained for this item

Comments

Awarded university fellowship final semester

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