Phi Beta Cons

MLA: Finding Religion?

Mal Kline writes that the Modern Language Association recently featured a conference panel called “Faith and Doubt in the Fiction of John Updike.”
Why this framework? According to one participant, “Updike seems so completely uninterested in spiritual practice or spiritual discipline.” Another would have objected to more traditional religious representation, such as that of Flannery O’Connor, because her readers “were being theologically hotwired to come to her conclusions.”
Any détente with religion on the part of the MLA merits note. But reductive it clearly is.