Abstract

Having defined how ‘secular’ is to be understood in this context, this essay explores two sets of observations. The first concerns the relationship between religion and literature as cultural products of a specific cultural imaginary. Both are fundamentally associated with narrative, which, as even contemporary neuroscience demonstrates, continually attempts to make sense of the world. Both are narratives in which there is a reflection upon, and a performance of, creativity. Since the cultural imaginary has been shaped historically by the religious, then all reflections upon creating are coloured by the sacred. The second set of observations issues from the first and concerns the relationship between authorial standpoint and literary creation. The essay examines authorial intention, the nature of language and the operation of the imagination as each relates to the cultural imaginary and the act of ‘making believe’. The two sets of observations and their examination demonstrate the ways in which literature continually resists secularity.

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