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Literature as incarnation: form and content in Elisabeth Langgässer's novels

dc.creatorEdwards, Elizabeth Weber
dc.description.abstractElisabeth Langgässer (1899-1950) was a German-Catholic writer banned from publishing by the Nazi regime because she was classified as half-Jewish. This dissertation sheds new light on Langgässer’s final works by reading the novels through the lens of the original intention of the author, and considering the works as both a response to individual circumstance and an ongoing prescription for the German people’s return to the Church. Specifically, I look at Elisabeth Langgässer’s final two novels and her interpretation of the Incarnation, key to her Catholic worldview, to constitute a single German Christian community during and after the Nazi regime. The first chapter provides a theological background for reading Langgässer’s work, analyzing the early unpublished essay Die Welt vor den Toren der Kirche (1922) and a number of speeches from the late in Langgässer’s career. In these texts, Langgässer develops a theory of Incarnation in and through fiction, where content and form, modeled on Christ’s humanity and divinity, become inseparable to create the Catholic novel. A response to the era, the Catholic novel helps constitute community among readers and across space and time, in spite of and in response to the political moment.
dc.subjectChristianity in Literature
dc.subjectGerman Women Authors
dc.titleLiterature as incarnation: form and content in Elisabeth Langgässer's novels
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJames McFarland
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMeike Werner
dc.type.materialtext University
dc.contributor.committeeChairBarbara Hahn

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