Original Research

Three three-letter words in three recent novels in three different languages: God, sex and joy

Christo J.S. Lombaard, Ilze Jansone
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 2 | a1685 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i2.1685 | © 2017 Christo J.S. Lombaard, Ilze Jansone | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2016 | Published: 07 November 2017

About the author(s)

Christo J.S. Lombaard, Department of Christian Spirituality, University of South Africa, South Africa
Ilze Jansone, Faculty of Theology, University of Latvia, Latvia


In this article, the authors propose to analyse the ways in which religion and sexuality are related to one another in three recent novels: (1) Fransi Phillips’s Die donker god (2007), (2) Inga Žolude’s Santa Biblia (2013) and (3) Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission [English translation: Submission] (2015). In each case, the novels are briefly placed within their respective literary cultures (Afrikaans, Latvian and French) in order to offer a contextually sensitive analysis. After each of the novels has been discussed related to the three related topoi of God, sex and joy, some comparative remarks are offered in conclusion.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: In this contribution, from the theological field of Spirituality Studies, the field of Comparative Literature is approached, seeking to identify aspects of Religiosity and Sexuality from the perspective of Post-Secularity.


Religion; sexuality; joy; literature; Houellebecq; Žolude; Phillips


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