Typological Realism in Contemporary Evangelical Fiction: Tragedy, Eternity, and The Shack

Kenneth Paradis


William Paul Young’s homiletic novel The Shack is an originally self-published text that, as of September 2010, has over 10 million copies in print and had been at number one on the New York Times bestseller list for 70 weeks. The Shack’s story of self-help and healing through an experiential encounter with Christian doctrine instantiates a mode of representation (typological realism) that is prominent in evangelical homiletic narrative and fiction, and that plays a key role in articulating a countersecular evangelical perspective. This paper explores the narrative construction of typological realism in The Shack.


evangelical fiction; contemporary popular fiction; American popular fiction; homiletic reading

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