Saturday, 20 March 2010

Miracle - a novel by Tina Beattie

(I have removed the link to this novel for the time being - see comment below - but I'm leaving the rest of the blog.)

I have written several unpublished novels over the last thirty years, and most of them need editing and reworking before they might be ready for publication. However, recently I wrote a short novel called Miracle, and I've decided to publish this online. Finding an agent and publishing a book commercially is a lengthy, time-consuming and disheartening process, even for a published academic author! And there is something about the need to be read in order to write, the need to communicate and send things out into the world, however imperfect they might be and however exposed we might feel. So please feel free to go online, read the novel and post your comments

Here is some explanatory 'blurb' which accompanies the online publication:

 As an academic theologian I have published several books and many academic and non-academic articles, but fiction is my first literary love, and writing fiction is my private passion. I am interested in traversing the space between philosophy, theology and fiction, in exploring how the perennial questions which we ask of life can be framed in many different genres. In my book The New Atheists I wrote, 'Art has no power to change the world, for great art exerts a different kind of power - not the power of violence and revolution, but the potent vulnerability of imagination and memory, of mourning and of hope. Art is powerless in itself, and yet it stands as an obstacle in the path of every destructive and oppressive force.' (p. 163) The God of theology and philosophy has failed us, but might the god of story-telling and creativity still have something to offer? This novel is my own tentative attempt to circle around these questions, obliquely and elusively, not seeking answers but asking how we might learn to articulate the questions which haunt us.

(Photograph of spider's web by Steve Gibson - I owe him a coffee.)

Friday, 19 March 2010

Exchange about atheism with Carl Packman

Carl Packman has posted an e-mail discussion we had about atheism, Christianity and violence on his website, Raincoat Optimism.