The folks over at Communio Sanctorum have written an interesting reflection on the nature of being a “Christ-haunted” culture. They began their observations with this selection from a speech by Flannery O’Connor:

Whenever I am asked why Southern writers particularly have this penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one. To be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man. And in the South, the general conception of man is still, in the main, theological. Of course, the South is changing so rapidly that almost anything you say about Southern belief can be denied in the next breath with equal propriety. But I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted. It is interesting that as belief in the divinity of Christ decreases, there seems to be a preoccupation with Christ-figures in our fiction. What is pushed to the back of the mind makes its way forward somehow. Ghosts can be very fierce and instructive. They cast strange shadows, particularly in our literature, for it is the business of the artist to reveal what haunts us. We in the South may be in the process of exorcising this ghost which has given us our vision of perfection… (Collected Works [The Library of America, 1988], p.861.)

{Read it all}

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