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|Title:||Sacramental Vision in Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm|
|Advisor:||Kroeker, P. Travis|
|Abstract:||This thesis explores the central motif of vision in Annie Dillard’s poetic narrative, Holy the Firm. While much of her work is concerned with “seeing” I argue that in this, her most theological text, Dillard is concerned with ushering her reader toward a sacramental vision of the world. Centered on an airplane crash in which a little girl, Julie Norwich, is badly injured, the text grapples with the relationship between the divine and the world. The chapters in this thesis parallel the three days of Dillard’s narrative as she contemplates creation, the fall, and redemption, through the artist, the thinker, and the nun. I argue that the text moves through an aesthetic and sacramental vision of the natural world, to intellectual abstraction in the face of human suffering, and finally to a mystical vision of wholeness in Christ. Ultimately, the divisions between mind, matter, and spirit are transcended, engendering a whole vision of reality. In the climactic scene of the text in which Dillard experiences a vision of Christ being baptized in the bay below her, I argue that Dillard is suggesting the possibility for the continual practice of such a whole vision through the sacramental liturgy of the church.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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