Friday, June 14, 2002

Among the Literati VII
Bruce Bawer contributed a thoughtful look at the relationship between book publishers and evangelical Christian authors to yesterday. Asking whether publishing pluralism needs to extend to fundamentalist intolerance, Bawer takes on recent book series such as Timothy LaHaye's Left Behind prophecy novels and contends that the easy money brought in by such titles might not be worth it in the end -- Bawer suggests that evangelical authors, booksellers, and readers might some day pressure those publishers not to publish books they deem offensive or inappropriate.

While I've yet to read any of LaHaye's books, I'm fascinated by the state of religious publishing. In the last couple of years, Christian publishers have moved into areas previously served by mainstream publishers -- mainly the political-technological thriller novel and young adult series. It allows them to couch religious messages in more popular-clad trappings... and with their wider spread success outside of evangelical circles, brings those very messages to people not already in the circle. A wonderful outreach strategy in both directions -- better serve people already involved and extend your reach to newcomers.

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