The next meeting of the American Area Seminar will feature Daniel Silliman of Notre Dame on "The Secular Fantasy of the First Evangelical Romance Novel."
There is no sex in the first evangelical romance novel, Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly, but there are lots and lots of descriptions of household chores. What kind of fantasy is this? Looking at the history of evangelical publishing and this landmark novel, I explore the ways in which American evangelicals imagined religious belief as something secular.
Daniel Silliman is a historian, specializing in 20th century American religion and culture. He successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, "Fictions of Belief: Reading Evangelical Novels in a Secular Age," at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in October. He is currently a teaching postdoc in the history department at Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame American Area Seminar is a collective of faculty and graduate students from English and affiliated departments meeting monthly to discuss the most exciting new work in the field. For more information, contact Matt Wilkens (firstname.lastname@example.org).