There is growing critical interest in the connections between literature and Christianity, but Virginia Woolf's work has so far attracted little attention because of her agnostic upbringing and her famous statement that 'certainly and emphatically there is no god.' This study fills a gap by revealing that Woolf was profoundly interested in, and knowledgeable about, Christianity even though she was not convinced by it.
The book sheds new light on her work by examining her allusions to Christian ideas, art, architecture and literature.
The book takes a strongly contextual approach, first revealing the extent of the Christian influences on Woolf's upbringing, including an analysis of the far-reaching and multi-dimensional influence of the Clapham Sect, and then drawing attention to the continuing influence of Christianity on modernism and within Woolf's circle.
It shows that Woolf's feminist criticism draws on a highly-informed critique of religious ideas about gender and that her explorations of the 'mystic' and 'spiritual' engage with theological debates about sacred space, time and eternity, the soul, salvation and deity.