A Subversive Gospel

Flannery O'Connor and the Reimagining of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

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Michael Mears Bruner
Studies in Theology and the Arts
  • Downers Grove, IL: 
    IVP Academic
    , October
     260 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Kimberly Rae Connor forthcoming.


The good news of Jesus Christ is a subversive gospel, and following Jesus is a subversive act. 

These notions were embodied in the literary work of American author Flannery O'Connor, whose writing was deeply informed by both her Southern context and her Christian faith. 

In this volume in IVP Academic's Studies in Theology and the Arts series, theologian Michael Bruner explores O'Connor's theological aesthetic and argues that she reveals what discipleship to Christ entails by subverting the traditional understandings of beauty, truth, and goodness through her fiction. In addition, Bruner challenges recent scholarship by exploring the little-known influence of Baron Friedrich von Hügel, a twentieth-century Roman Catholic theologian, on her work. 

Bruner's study thus serves as a guide for those who enjoy reading O'Connor and—even more so—those who, like O'Connor herself, follow the subversive path of the crucified and risen one.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Michael Mears Bruner is Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University. Born and raised in the Philippines as the son of missionaries, he is currently a resident scholar at the Huntington Library, an ordained minister in the PC(USA), and a recent recipient of a Lilly Endowment in theology and the arts.

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