I’m a fan of John Updike, so I wanted to post something upon his death yesterday. I’m going to let others do the tributes who can do them better than I. But I will say that what I appreciate about Updike’s novels and short stories that I’ve read is that he was willing and interested in engaging two of the difficult subjects to engage well: sex and religion.
He explored the significance of sex as our cure for relational and other sorts of boredom (think Rabbit Angstrom novels) and our spiritual tepidness and confusion (think In the Beauty of the Lilies) for our relationships and our religious practice, in our American cultural context in particular. As a preacher, his stories help me exegete people (myself included) as I think about how Jesus and his gospel engage us.
Here’s the NY Times on Updike.
And here’s an excellent reflection from blogger-theologian Ben Myers with a look at Updike’s theology.
Here is Updike’s wonderful poem on Easter, posted on this blog at Easter last year (and referenced in Ben Myers’ post on Updike).