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Table of Contents for
Locations of the Sacred: Essays on Religion, Literature, and Canadian Culture by William Closson James




Chapter 1: Dislocating the Sacred: The Protestant Voice

The Protestant Voice

A Protestant Trio: Davies, MacLennan, and Laurence

Imprisonment and Liberation

How Is Canadian Literature “Religious”?

The Protestant Principle in English-Canadian Fiction

A Tentative Conclusion

Chapter 2: Relocating the Sacred: The Human Ground of Transcendence

Eternity and Transcendence

“Eternity” in Callaghan and MacLennan

The Ordinary and the Sacred in Mitchell and Munro

Divining the Depths in Davies, Laurence, and Atwood


Chapter 3: Nature as the Locale of the Sacred

Native and Christian Attitudes

Some Typical Canadian Views

Geography over History

A New Direction

Chapter 4: In Quest of the Sacred: The Canoe Trip

The Quest Pattern

Stages of the Quest

Transformative Quest and Canadian Character

The Canoe Trip as Initiation Rite


Chapter 5: Sacred Death: The Belcher Islands Massacre


Geographical and Religious Backgrounds

Narrative of the Events

The Contemporary Reaction to the Murders


A Personal Epilogue

Chapter 6: Theodicy and the Sacred: A. M. Klein and Hugh MacLennan

Parallel Dislocations

The Second Scroll as Theodicy

The Watch that Ends the Night and Selfhood

The Everyman and the Self

Chaos into Cosmos

Chapter 7: Love and the Sacred: The Ambiguities of Morley Callaghan’s Such Is My Beloved

Callaghan’s “Certain Perceptions”

The Two Conflicting Realms

The Song of Songs: Love and the Sacred

Conclusion: Incarnational Humanism

Chapter 8: Sacred Passages: Native Symbols in Atwood and Engel

The Female Initiation Pattern

Atwood’s Surfacing

Engel’s Bear


Chapter 9: Nordicity and the Sacred: The Journeys of Thomas York and Aritha van Herk

The Fugitive

The Spiritual Quest

The Return to the South in Desireless

“No End to This Road”: Aritha van Herk

Chapter 10: Mutuality and the Sacred: Joy Kogawa

From Divine Abandonment to Human Solidarity

Bread and Stones and Names in Obasan

From Silence to Communion