This thesis is a study of the theology of Graham Green- a widely acclaimed British novelist, 1904-1991. Greene is among a number of twentieth century novelists, emerging out of two world wars, questioning the source of evil and the existence of God in a barbaric age. His fiction, spanning seven decades and fifty novels, is characterized by its outward political intrigue and its internal theological struggles. Greene is a Catholic covert, but only as a result of marriage. His allegiance to the Catholic church suggests only a belief in evil and purgatory. Through experiences occurring in his early youth, the author is convinced of the presence of evil, and conversely reasons the existence of God. In his Catholic novels, Greene suggests a "lost sheep theology", where the sinner is paradoxically closest to God. The author consistently develops protagonists caught between the human predicament of sinfulness, and the Catholic ideal. Being a liberal, Greene struggles over Catholic issues such as despair, and the legalism associated with many of the sacraments. In his later novels, religion and politics become inseparable parts of the same theme. The author seems overwhelmingly concerned with revolutions--whether they be political or theological. Greene finally suggests religious belief requires a political commitment to social justice and change.


Clareson, Thomas

Second Advisor

Murrell, N.S.


Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Emily E. Riley