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God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author Paperback – June 1, 2012


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God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author + The Life of Our Lord: Written for His Children During the Years 1846 to 1849 + A Charles Dickens Devotional (Devotional Classics Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587433206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587433207
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Illuminates the Vital Faith of Charles Dickens

"Colledge has written a serious, bracing, and inspiring book about one of the most underrated great writers in the English language. He shows clearly that Charles Dickens was a splendid example of what John Wesley called an 'experimental Christian,' a man less impressed by official pieties and sanctimonies of religious parties than by the hands-on, practical love of Jesus himself. This book shows clearly the power of the Law of Love at work in Dickens's masterful character portraits, and vindicates the conviction of G. K. Chesterton that even Dickens's 'anti-clericalism' or satire of false piety is, as it was in Chaucer before him, the scandalized ire of a true lover of the Way of the gospel. Dickens upholds a simple imitation of Christ as the remedy for social disorder and victimization, and Colledge convincingly shows how his work critiques a failed Christian practice and admonishes Christians to follow Christ more authentically."
--David Lyle Jeffrey, Baylor University

"In his highly readable book, Colledge does what every good critic should: he puts Dickens center stage and allows the author to speak for himself. Colledge helps us clearly hear the challenge Dickens makes to his readers to more closely follow Christ's example of compassion and caring. This book is long overdue."
--Devin Brown, Asbury University; author of The Christian World of "The Hobbit"

"God and Charles Dickens offers new and valuable insight into the expression of Christian faith in the work of Dickens--and does so in an engaging and highly readable style."
--Susannah Clements, Regent University; author of The Vampire Defanged

"Tolstoy and Dostoevsky both referred to Dickens as 'that great Christian writer.' Colledge unpacks in great detail what that means in a winsome and convincing treatment that shows exactly how foundational Dickens's Christian faith and practice was to his work and his life. Both accessible and direct, the book is conversant with and informed by ongoing Dickens scholarship without being academic. Colledge argues that Dickens was not a Christian novelist but a novelist who was deeply Christian, and helps the reader understand the difference."
--Daniel Taylor, author of Creating a Spiritual Legacy

About the Author

Gary L. Colledge (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is currently an adjunct professor at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. He wrote his dissertation on Dickens and Christianity. Colledge is the author of Dickens, Christianity, and "The Life of Our Lord" and contributed several articles to the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love the writings of Charles Dickens. How could I pass up a book with a title like this one?

In writing "God and Charles Dickens: Rediscovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author," Gary Colledge has aimed at restoring an understanding of the Christian faith embedded in the novels and writings of this nineteenth century literary icon. And it's no easy task.

The matter of Dickens and faith or religion has been buried under more than a century of modernist and post-modernist interpretation, and only recently (a 2009 biography) even addressed with more than a passing reference. There are also the matters of Dickens's fulminations against the established church and the relationships with both his wife Catharine and actress Ellen Ternan.

Colledge, an adjunct professor at Moody Bible Institute and Walsh University, is the author of the previously published "Dickens, Christianity, and 'The Life of Our Lord.'" He brings considerable knowledge and understanding, not to mention a full reading of Dickens's works, to his subject, and it is the body of writing by Dickens that Colledge builds his case upon. And I believe he makes his case.

The key writing Colledge draws upon is the gospel story Dickens wrote for his children - and never intended to be published -- The Life of Our Lord. This is what Dickens taught his children, and it is about as orthodox as you'll find.

But the author goes beyond only this one work, and examines Dickens's understanding of Jesus, theology, and the church, using letters, public statements, and his novels. Colledge also spends considerable time examining what Dickens would describe as "real Christianity" - the gospel in action in culture and society.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William R. Bradford on July 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
Like most of the book's intended general audience, I have heard that Dickens was at best a marginal Christian - and have found this surprising, given the content of his writings. Colledge goes a long way towards clearing this up with his presentation of how Dickens was an average lay person of his time in most of his theological views, and how this is expressed in his writings. With this in mind, Dicken's Christianity, which, as noted, is apparent in his writings, is explained and clarified.

While intended for a general audience, the book is well foot-noted and shows careful research. For a few of the minor points the evidence is a little thin, but in all of the major points Colledge presents a convincing argument.

Reading this book has certainly helped me appreciate Dickens more, and I highly recommend it if you like Dickens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Marshall on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A long-standing Dickens enthusiast, I found God and Charles Dickens to be an excellent addition to my library. The book has obviously been well researched, and is an enjoyable read. It is also a treasure trove of insightful material of value to an educator.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting read about Charles Dickens. I don't hold to every point of religious view of Dickens. The book does give insight into how his religious views came through in his writings.
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By Tertius Scribe on April 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Meaningful. Insightful.
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