Doktorarbeit: Humanity’s saving graces: Die Neuverhandlung von Religion und Spiritualität in Margaret Atwoods MaddAddam-Trilogie

Humanity’s saving graces: Die Neuverhandlung von Religion und Spiritualität in Margaret Atwoods MaddAddam-Trilogie

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Studien zur Anglistik und Amerikanistik, volume 34

Hamburg , 234 pages

ISBN 978-3-339-11870-7 (print) |ISBN 978-3-339-11871-4 (eBook)

About this book englishenglish

Margaret Atwood, perhaps the living icon of Canadian literature, re-evaluates religion in her MaddAddam-trilogy which was published between 2003 and 2013. According to this study, religion and spirituality are attributed the role of humanity’s saving graces as forces which could save humanity. What could be the positive contribution of religion and spirituality to society? Which skills can they teach to enable humanity to survive? This thesis aims at following these current questions without leaving aside that religion and spirituality have always been central topics in Atwood’s novels. It becomes evident that Atwood’s reception of ecofeminism and her central topic “survival” both have a religious and spiritual component. This study examines the following clusters in Atwood’s oeuvre: her religious and church criticism. The God’s Gardeners are the only exception from that tendency: they are the first community which elaborates a positive, eco-friendly ethic.

The MaddAddam-Trilogy combines myths and religion, which is also based on Atwood’s ambiguous intertextual play with the Bible. The last focus is on the connection between apocalyptic rhetoric and the topic of “survival”. The novels Surfacing, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin as well as a glimpse on Atwood’s most recent novel, The Testaments, are included in the analysis.

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