Giving the Devil His Due

Jessica Hooten Wilson

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Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: Cascade Books
Publish Date: February 28, 2017
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1498291376
ISBN-13: 978-1498291378

Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky shared a deep faith in Christ, which compelled them to tell stories that force readers to choose between eternal life and demonic possession. Their either-or extremism has not become more popular in the last fifty to a hundred years since these stories were first published, but it has become more relevant to a twenty-first-century culture in which the lukewarm middle ground seems the most comfortable place to dwell. Giving the Devil His Due walks through all of O’Connor’s stories and looks closely at Dostoevsky’s magnum opus The Brothers Karamazov to show that when the devil rules, all hell breaks loose. Instead of this kingdom of violence, O’Connor and Dostoevsky propose a kingdom of love, one that is only possible when the Lord again is king.

Author

Jessica Hooten Wilson is Associate Professor of Literature at John Brown University.

Reviews

This is one of those rare books that should appeal to readers who love classic fiction and those with a strong interest in Christian theology. I admired Jessica Hooten Wilson’s readings of both O’Connor and Dostoevsky–muscular, intelligent criticism, written with a passion for the worlds they conjure. It’s splendid work, provocative, and deeply satisfying.

–Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and Jesus: The Human Face of God

How refreshing it is–and how necessary–to read criticism that gets us down to the real stakes of moral existence. Wilson brings us Dostoevsky and O’Connor in their full profundity of faith and recognition of evil. This is just the right approach for college students awash in the trivia of youth culture, reminding them that their own lives can have a richer meaning.

–Mark Bauerlein, Professor of English, Emory University

Resources

Articles & Essays

THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS DARKLY

How (and how not) to be certain of yourself. When I was a little girl, my favourite book was Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As much as I disliked cats, the Cheshire Cat defied all expectations with his wisdom. Alice is lost in the woods,…
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November 12, 2020
Events

Mars Hill 2020: Tolkien & Dostoevskey

The Mars Hill Forum is hosted by University Christian Fellowship—a ministry of the Christian Fellowship family of local churches in Central Kentucky—as one of a series of events aimed at reaching the University of Kentucky and surrounding area with the truth and beauty of the…
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November 12, 2020
Events

Flannery O’Connor Short Course

Short course on Flannery O’Connor with Chuck Colson Center (11/10) Listen to Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson's discussion of Flannery O’Connor on The Habit here. How Four Christians from History Confronted Cultural Chaos Speakers: Dr. Calvin Troup, Dr. Bill Brown, Derek McCoy, and Dr. Jessica Hooten…
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November 3, 2020
Articles & Essays

Awakening from Digital Slumbers

When I was rereading Homer’s The Odyssey, I noticed a curious fault in the hero—Odysseus falls asleep at the most inopportune times. At the start of his adventures, he dozes off when the ships are in sight of Ithaca, the pilgrim’s destination. Hoping that by overexerting…
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October 30, 2020
Events

Solzhenitsyn and American Culture Event

If you are struggling to find a middle road through this world of extreme right and left, the writings of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn remind us of the dangers of ideology of any camp and point us instead towards polyphony and beauty. Join this webinar book launch on Oct 29…
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October 27, 2020