College of Arts and Sciences
literature, Christianity, Jane Austen, British literature
Literature in English, British Isles
Toal, Erin R., "Practical Christianity: Religion in Jane Austen's Novels" (2017). Senior Honors Theses. 714.
A beloved English novelist of the late eighteenth century, Jane Austen captures the attention and emotion of readers through timeless insights into the inner workings of the human heart as characters navigate society, family life, and love. Her novels’ attention to practical morality but reticence toward explicitly religious subject matter raises conjecture concerning the religion behind her values; however, Austen’s Christian upbringing, Anglican practice, and Christian values suggest a foundation of faith from which the morality in her novels emanates. In Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park, Austen demonstrates her eighteenth-century Anglican worldview in the lives of her characters as they grow in virtue and good character.