Ron Hansen on Faith and Fiction

Faith and Fiction” is a wonderful lecture by Ron Hansen delivered some years ago and recently posted on the web by the University of Santa Clara, where Hansen teaches.  If you have a liking for religious fiction, I urge you to read his novels Mariette in Ecstasy and Atticus.  The lecture concludes with this:

Writing with faith is a form of praying. Evelyn Waugh maintained prayer ought to consist of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication. And so it is in the writing of fiction, in which authors can adore God through their alertness to creation and to the Spirit that dwells in their talent; confess their own faults by faithfully recording the sins, failings, and tendencies of their characters; offer thanksgiving through the beauty of form, language, and thought in their creations; and beseech by obeying the rule of Saint Benedict, which states: “Whatever good work you begin to do, beg of God with most earnest prayer to perfect it.”

H/T to Jim Campbell.


  1. I absolutely needed this affirmation right now as I procrastinate through frustration the rewrite of my novel. Thank you from this re-writer who tries to make a ghost story into a work of inspiration.


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