From Christian Conversion to Children’s Crusade: The Left Behind Series for Kids and the Changing Nature of Evangelical Juvenile Fiction

  • Michelle Ann Abate
Keywords: Left Behind, American Sunday School Union (ASSU)

Abstract

This essay builds on the author's previous work on the Left Behind novels for kids, arguing that while current socio-political conditions have certainly contributed to the success of the series, an earlier phenomenon informs its literary structure: the many novels and stories produced by the American Sunday School Union (ASSU). The numerous literary, cultural, religious, and historical details that connect ASSU fiction and the Left Behind: The Kids series demonstrate significant continuities in the projects of US evangelical Christianity over more than a century. The closing section discusses how the differences between the current crop of evangelical narratives and the historical ones are just as instructive as their similarities, for they demonstrate changing conceptions of children and childhood in the United States, and the place and purpose of religious-themed narratives for young readers on the eve of the new millennium and in the opening decade of the twenty-first century.

Author Biography

Michelle Ann Abate

Michelle Ann Abate is an assistant professor of English at Hollins University. She is the author of Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History (Temple UP, 2008) and, most recently, Raising Your Kids Right: Children's Literature and American Political Conservatism (Rutgers UP, September 2010).

How to Cite
Abate, M. (1). From Christian Conversion to Children’s Crusade: The Left Behind Series for Kids and the Changing Nature of Evangelical Juvenile Fiction. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 2(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/55
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Articles