I am a theologian, so of course I read theology. I also look for theology in other things I read. I have made remarks about the poor theology in some books (ex. Little Women). There is a remarkable amount of theological reflection in literature written in English. Here is a list of fiction that I’ve read in the last three months that contained and prompted theological reflection of some sort: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg, The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card, Anathem by Neal Stephenson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and The Manticore by Robertson Davies. Now other books I’ve read may prompt theological reflection – I tend to think that way because of my training – but these all had something intentionally theological about them. Interesting.
Of course I also read books that are about theology that are nonfiction. Lately I finished Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology ed. Stanley Hauerwas and L. Gregory Jones, Figured Out: Typology & Providence in Christian Scripture by Christopher R. Seitz, and Welcoming Children by Joyce Ann Meyer. Right now I’m working on a book about the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII in England. Wolf Hall (listed above) is a novel set in Henry VIII’s court in the time leading up to the dissolution of the monasteries. You can see it coming at the end of the book. It is fun to see people who were characters in Mantel’s novel in the history book I’m reading.
What sorts of theology are you reading?