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Faith and Doubt in Rose Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond

David Hein

The English writer Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) is worthy of consideration as a spiritual mentor for Christians today. In her last novel, The Towers of Trebizond, as well as in her personal biography, readers will discover an intriguing story that offers insights into obstacles to belief and into the relation of faith and doubt. They will also see the connection between these themes and Macaulay's appreciation of the Anglican way. Her work provides a good example of the uses of imagination in Christian thought. This essay proposes The Towers of Trebizond as a valuable instance of "anti-wisdom wisdom literature." Readers will find Rose Macaulay to be religiously more complicated and less certain than her more traditional peers, such as C. S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Austin Farrer. Macaulay's is a voice from the edge, not from the orthodox center, but it is a voice that twenty-first-century Christians will understand and appreciate.

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