oa Alternation - Christianity and liberalism in Cry, the Beloved Country

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Virtually all critics who have commented on Cry, the Beloved Country since it was first published exactly fifty years ago, have recognised the central position which Alan Paton's Christianity occupies in the novel's overall thematic structure. And yet, despite this critical attention, little effort has been made to provide a precise account of the actual nature of the Christian perspective which underpins Cry, the Beloved Country. In the main, critics have tended to refer rather loosely to the 'Christian message' of the novel, without considering what particular interpretation of that message Paton brings to bear upon the text; or they have merely adverted to the 'biblical' flavour of the novel's language, without examining the significance of the original sources of the scriptural quotations and allusions. Similarly, although it has been generally acknowledged that Paton's outlook in Cry. the Beloved Country is liberal as well as Christian, there has been no attempt to explore the complex relationship between Christian faith and liberal politics in the novel.

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