Combining thematic analysis and stimulating close readings, The Collar is a wide-ranging study of the many ways--heroic or comic, shrewd or dastardly--Christian ministers have been represented in literature and film. Since all Christians are expected to be involved in ministry of some type, the assumptions of secular culture about ministers affect more than just clergy. Ranging across several nations (particularly the U. S., Britain, and Canada), denominations, and centuries, The Collar aims to encourage creative and faithful responses to the challenges of Christian leadership and to provoke awareness of the times when leadership expectations become too extreme. Using the framework of novels, plays, TV, and movies to make inquiries about pastoral passion, frustration, and fallibility, Sue Sorensen's well-informed, sprightly, and perceptive book will be helpful to pastors, parishioners, those interested in practical theology, and anyone who enjoys evocative literature and film. "A marvelous mix of scintillating literary criticism and probing theological reflection, Sue Sorensen has provided insight into why funny stories are funnier and tragic stories more tragic when a clergyman is the principal character. But she also explores the deeper question, 'Have these artists, as outsiders looking in, captured that mysterious soul of the one who has that special call from Christ?'" --Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society "Like every professional, the minister inherits images he or she did not create and may or may not want to project. Some of these images persist well beyond the epochs that shaped them. A few are positive, even heroic; many are negative and demeaning. Not only for those directly involved in the vocation, but for all who try to understand what the church has been and is, it is good to sort out these sometimes 'graven' images. And what better way of doing that than by considering the great stories in which clergy have some degree of prominence." --Douglas John Hall, author of What Christianity Is Not Sue Sorensen is Associate Professor of English at Canadian Mennonite University and an active member of First Lutheran Church in Winnipeg. She is the author of a novel, A Large Harmonium, and the editor of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature. She has written about contemporary British literature, detective fiction, film, popular music, children's writing, the fiction of A. S. Byatt, and is also a published poet.
The Collar by Sue Sorensen was published by Cascade Books in June 2014. The ISBN for The Collar is 9781625642486.