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The Prodigal Son in English and American Literature – Five Hundred Years of Literary Homecomings - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Prodigal Son in English and American Literature: Five Hundred Years of Literary Homecomings

Alison M. Jack


The Parable of the Prodigal Son, one of the best-known stories in the Bible, has captured the imagination of commentators, preachers, and writers. This book explores the reconfiguring of the character of the Prodigal Son and his family in literature in English. It considers diverse literary periods and genres in which the paradigm is particularly prevalent, such as Elizabethan literature, the work of Shakespeare, the novels of female Victorian writers, the American short story tradition, novels focused on the lives of ordained ministers, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and Iain Crichton Smi ... More

Keywords: Prodigal Son, parables of Jesus, reception history of the Bible, literature in English, diversity of interpretation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198817291
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198817291.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alison M. Jack, author
Senior Lecturer in Bible and Literature, University of Edinburgh