PURCELL,William ( パーセル ウィリアム , PURCELL,William )
Academic Title
Area of specialization

English Literature (Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, American Literature)

Academic societies

EACLALS(European Association for Commonwealth Language and
Literature Studies)会員(1998.10〜現在に至る)
ISRLC (International Society for Religion, Literature, and Culture)会員 (2008.8〜現在に至る)

No. of books/academic articles
総数 total number (27)
著書数 books (0)
学術論文数 articles (27)

Date of Graduation
Divine Word College文学部English 1978年05月  卒業 
Grad. School
Date of Completion
University of Kent at Canterbury 博士課程  2004年01月  修了 
Seton Hall University文学研究科English 修士課程  1981年12月  修了 
Degree name
Title of Thesis
   Conferring the Degree
Date of Acquisition
博士 PhD (文学博士)  Representing Missions: Christianity and Colonialism in Fiction by Joyce Cary, Elspeth Huxley, Chinua Achebe, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o  University of Kent at Canterbury School of English English Literature Postcolonial Studies  2004年01月 
修士 Master of Arts(文学修士)  Saul Bellow's Noble Vision  Seton Hall University  1981年12月 
学士 B.A.    Divine Word College  1978年05月 
Long or Short
   Term research
Research Topic
長期研究  Christianity and African Literatures 

概要(Abstract) Africa is the fastest growing Christian continent on the planet. Christianity has become a crucial part of the social and political fabric of life in the post-colonial sub-Saharan African nations. My study focuses on how this is reflected in the literary production of these cultures. 

短期研究  Christianity in the early fiction of Chinua Achebe 

概要(Abstract) There is a tendency among postcolonial critics to discuss Christianity in African literature examinations of the incompatibility of Western Christianity and indigenous African cultures. In this paper I want to examine how Christianity in Achebe's early fiction has in fact become a crucial part of the social and cultural fabric of contemporary Igbo and Nigerian society. 

Title of the articles
Request No
掲載誌名 Journal name,出版機関名 Publishing organization,巻/号 Vol./no.,頁数 Page nos.,発行年月(日) Date
2018  "My shoes are English shoes ... they're not for savage people": Footwear and Social Status in Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson'"  単著   
Academia: Literature and Language  , Nanzan Academic Society  , 103  , 29-41  , 2018/01   

概要(Abstract) An obvious leitmotif running through Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson is the eponymous character’s shoes. The social significance the character attaches to footwear is actually less a Western priority than it is a value and practice shared across many West African societies. It is, therefore, ironic that Johnson seeks to validate in the eyes of his fellow West Africans his claims to superiority as an English gentleman in part through appeals to a material value characteristic of the same West African cultures he rejects as uncivilized. That is, in the very act of asserting his Western social superiority through his shoes Johnson is in fact behaving in a most West African fashion. This paper will briefly explore the significance of footwear in West African cultures and then examine Cary’s metonymic use of Johnson’s shoes in the text. 


2017  A Nigerian Prodigal Son's 'Moment of Grace': Reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Cell One' as Catholic Fiction  単著   
Studies in Literature and Christianity / キリスト教文学研究  , Japan Society for Literature and Christianity / 日本キリスト教文学会  , 34  , 165-181  , 2017/05   

概要(Abstract) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2007 story, “Cell One,” reads like a variation on the parable of the Prodigal Son set in contemporary Nigeria. Nnamabia, the protagonist, is a child of privilege. Born into relative material and social comfort and raised in a Christian home where he has been pampered and protected, he has become self-absorbed, materialistic and hedonistic. While jailed for suspected involvement in campus gang violence, he witnesses the humiliation of an innocent elderly man at the hands of the guards and his fellow detainees, and for perhaps the first time in his life is moved to stand up for someone else, at great cost to his personal safety and well-being. This moment of physical and emotional violence becomes for the character what Flannery O’Connor has called in her own fiction a “moment of grace” that invites the recipient to accept or reject personal redemption. That is, this story is a conversion narrative with strong religious implications, rooted in the particularly Catholic worldview of author’s upbringing, and dramatizing what for the protagonist marks the first steps towards a radical change in values and commitments. 

備考(Remarks) Refereed publication / 査読付き 

2015  Christianity Brewed in an AfricanPot: Reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "The Shivering"  単著   
AGON: Revista Internazionale di Studi Culturali, Linguistici e Letterari   , University of Messina  , 7  , 5-23  , 2015/12   

概要(Abstract) This article discusses Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s story, “The Shivering.” It examines how the text affirms the transformation of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa from a foreign religion undermining traditional life into what Simon Gikandi has called a “crucial part of the social and cultural fabric of postcolonial [African] societ[ies]”throughout the continent. It pays particular attention to the convergence between what Laurenti Magesa has termed the “official” Christianity of Western missionaries and the “popular” Christianity of the African Instituted Churches as each move towards becoming a religion that is both genuinely African and genuinely Christian. 

備考(Remarks) Refereed/査読付き 

2013  Converting Culture: Readng Chinua Achebe's 'Marriage is a Private Affair' in Light of Bernard Lonergan's Theology of Conversion  単著   
Religion and Literature#I#IR  , University of Notre Dame  , 45.1  , 81-101  , 2013/Spring   

概要(Abstract) Scholars tend to discuss Chinua Achebe’s 1952 story, “Marriage is a Private Affair,” as yet another in a long line of dramatic explorations of the clash between traditional African cultures and Western Christian culture. In this paper I take the position that although such readings have their own validity, they are nevertheless limited because they fail to take into account the extent to which Christianity has become an integral part of the cultural and social fabric of contemporary African societies and their writers. That is, the fiction produced by writers like Achebe often contains perceptive reflections on the African encounter with the Gospel at the religious level. Drawing on the conversion theology of Bernard Lonergan, I argue that with its focus on Okeke and his eventual acceptance of Nnaemeka’s exogamous marriage, Achebe’s story offers a sophisticated theological examination of the ongoing process of conversion at both the individual and cultural levels. The theological concerns raised by the story, in turn, have significant implications for the secular postcolonial project of nation-building with which Achebe is also deeply concerned. 

備考(Remarks) Refereed Article/査読付き 

2012  Witnessing to the Gospel: Pedro Arrupe's Mission Theology and Dominic Mulaisho's The Tongue of the Dumb  単著   
Christianity and Literature  , Conference on Christianity and Literature  , 61/3  , 419-440  , 2012/05   

概要(Abstract) Christianity and missions are recurring subjects in postcolonial African fiction. While such fiction frequently takes the form of a clash between Christianity and indigenous culture, occasionally they also offer sophisticated theological examinations of the causes of such conflicts. Dominic Mulaisho's first novel, The Tongue of the Dumb, is one such novel. This paper posits that the missiological outlook of Mulaisho is rooted in a Jesuit tradition articulated most clearly by the then Jesuit superior-general, Pedro Aruppe. 

備考(Remarks) Refereed article (査読付き) 

2012  Is Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible a 'Postcolonial' Novel?  単著   
Illuminazioni: Rivista di Lingua, Letteratura e Comunicazione  , University of Messina  , 20  , pp. 24-61  , 2012/04   

概要(Abstract) This paper examines whether Barbara Kingsolver's highly popular 1998 novel, The Poisonwood Bible, can be accurately described as a postcolonial novel. The author herself has described it as a postcolonial work, as have a number of critics. This paper argues that the novel is not postocolonial in the sense established by Peter Hulme or Arif Dirlik, but rather represents the sort of Western humanistic liberalism that begs the oppressor to recognize the humanity of the oppressed while at the same time reaffirming so many of the stereotyped representations of the oppressed as helpless, blissfully ignorant, and totally complacent double victims of Western racism and a hostile and unhealthy environment who are still in need of the materialist benefits of Western scientific, technological and intellectual achievements. 

備考(Remarks) Refereed article (査読付き)

2008  The Gospel According to Barbara Kingsovler: Brother Fowles and St. Francis of Assisi in The Poisonwood Bible  単著   
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture  , Center for Catholic Studies, University of St. Thomas  , 12:1  , 93-116  , 2009/Winter   

概要(Abstract) This article takes the position that the views of the Gospel presented in Kingsolver's novel are not in accord with a proper understanding of Christianity. It takes issue with Kingsolver's assertion that the character of Brother Fowles is intended to "redeem both Christianity and the notion of mission ... to represent Christian mission in a kinder voice." It argues that the implicitly Franciscan worldview Kingsolver promotes is instead rooted in a contemporary culture in which pantheistic views reduce the Gospel to an ethical code. 

備考(Remarks) 査読付き論文 

2007  Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible and the Essentializing of Africa: A Critical Double Standard  単著   
Notes on Contemporary Literature  , William S. Doxey  , 37/5  , 2-4  , 2007/11   

概要(Abstract) This article discusses sources for some of the material contained in Barbara Kingsolver's novel, The Poisonwood Bible and the implications of these sources for the critical reception of the novel. 

備考(Remarks) 査読付き論文 

2005  The Missionary as Ambivalent Metaphor in Chinua Achebe's 'Sugar Baby'  単著   
Notes on Contemporary Literature  , William S. Doxey  , 35.5  , 4-6  , 2005/11   

概要(Abstract) This paper examines, 'Sugar Baby,' an often-ignored story by Chinua Achebe. It focuses on how Achebe's portrayal of the missionary character reveals ambivalence in the author's attitude towards the foreign missionary presence in Nigeria. 

備考(Remarks) 査読付き論文 

2005  In the Beginning: Christianity and Cultural Colonialism in Chinua Achebe's 'Dead Mens' Path'  単著   
Studies in Literature and Christianity  , Japan Society for Literature and Christianity  , 22  , 154-165 (1-12)  , 2005/05   

概要(Abstract) This paper examines the critique of mission Christianity as a form of cultural colonialism in "Dead Men's Path," an early story by Chinua Achebe. It seeks to demonstrate that Achebe's interest in the relationship between Christianity and colonialism has been a thematic concern even in his earliest artistic endeavors. It further shows how his treatment of the issues raised here anticipate similar thematic concerns in his later and better known novels. 

備考(Remarks) 査読付き論文 

掲載雑誌名等 Publishing Magazine,発行所 Publisher,巻/号 Vol./no.,頁数 Page nos.,発行年月(日) Date
2010  Christianity and African Literatures: Reading Chinua Achebe's "In a Village Church"  Seminar Paper  単著 
キリスト教文学会中部支部  , 12 March 2011   

概要(Abstract) This paper takes issue with readings of contemporary African fiction that treats Christianity solely as a foreign religion imposed upon Africans as part of the instruments of colonial control. It posits that Christianity has become a crucial part of the cultural and social fabric of postcolonial African societies and that readings of African fiction need to recognize this phenomenon. Focusing on one of Chinua Achebe's earliest stories this paper offers a reading of the text that demonstrates the degree to which Christianity was already becoming an integral part of contemporary African cultures and societies. 


2007  Self-Evangelization: A Theological Reading of Achebe’s "Marriage is a Private Affair"  Seminar Paper  単著 
南山大学  , 日本キリスト教文学会中部支部研究会  , 2007/09   

概要(Abstract) Critics tend to discuss this story as another dramatic exploration of the clash between traditional African and Western Christian cultures. This sort of reading misses a deeper theological point. I believe the story is also a dramatization of a vital theological position; namely, the ongoing process of the Gospel encountering and inculturating itself into a new cultural context. In this presentation I propose a reading of the story that draws on insights from missiology and contextual theology. 


2004  Misson as Witness: Pedro Arrupe's Mission Theology in Dominic Mulaisho's Tongue of the Dumb  Seminar Paper  単著 
Nagoya City University  , Christianity and Literature Society of Japan, Chubu Chapter  , 2004/09   

概要(Abstract) This paper explores the role of the lay religious missionary in Mulaisho's novel, using the mission theology of former Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe. 


2003  Contested Translations: Mission Christianity in John Munonye's Obi  Seminar Paper  単著 
Nagoya City University  , Christianity and Literature Society of Japan: Nagoya Chapter  , 2003/11   

概要(Abstract) This paper examines the conflict between Christianity and Igbo culture in Munonye's novel Obi as representing a subtextual conflict between Gospel and missionary. 

備考(Remarks) First Draft of a planned paper for presentation in April, 2004 

2001  Failed Missions: Christianity and Colonialism in Joyce Cary’s Aissa Saved  Seminar Paper  単著 
Nagoya City University  , Christianity and Literature Society: Nagoya Chapter  , 2002/03   

概要(Abstract) This paper discusses Cary’s use of Christian missions as a metaphor for colonial policy in Aissa Saved 


Title or Name of Session
発表学会等名称 Name, etc. of the conference at which the presentation is to be given, 主催者名称 Organizer, 掲載雑誌名等 Publishing Magazine,発行所 Publisher,巻/号 Vol./no.,頁数 Page nos.
2016  Changing Places: Migration, Christianity and English-African Role Reversals in Freddy Macha’s “The Drunk and the Preacher”  その他  2016/09/11 
International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture  , International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture   

概要(Abstract) In the closing lines of Freddy Macha’s story, “The Drunk and the Preacher,” protagonist Renatus finds himself under arrest for harassment. A Christian preacher and refugee in London from Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Renatus’s offense was repeatedly inviting a panhandling street drunkard named Raymond, the son of a wealthy man, to liberate himself from alcohol by accepting Christian fellowship. As the police lead the handcuffed Renatus away, he begs to be allowed to take along “his only precious possession: the Bible” (14). The story thus turns on an ironic role reversal between African and European as evangelizer and evangelized that reflects the state of Christianity in many contemporary Western and African societies.
Since the mid twentieth century sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed the most dramatic growth in Christianity of any region on the planet. In the process, Africans have both taken control across the continent of the mainline Churches planted by Western missionaries and have also founded some 7,000 indigenous Christian dominations. Reflecting this shifting center of Christianity to the Global South, since the 1980s there has also been a great migration of African missionaries to an increasingly secularized and unchurched Europe and (to a lesser extent) North America that are becoming materialistic, narcissistic, hedonistic, and less receptive—if not hostile—to the Christian message. This presentation will discuss the shifting role of evangelizer and evangelized dramatized in this story against the historic background of the colonial project and its implications for the future of the global Church.


2014  The Prodigal Son in Contemporary Nigeria: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s "Cell One" as a Rediscovery of the Gospel Message  単独  2014/09/18 
International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture  , Helga Ramsey-Kurz   

概要(Abstract) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2007 story, “Cell One,” is a conversion narrative that reads like a variation on the parable of the Prodigal Son set in contemporary Nigeria. On more than one occasion Adichie has lamented what she sees in contemporary Nigerian society as a “new age religiosity” that has forged an obscene link between religion, particularly certain sects of Christianity, and a growing obsession with material gain and socio-economic advancement. It is a religiosity that reflects Nigerian (and African) exposure to and absorption of the values and priorities of Western material culture that penetrated the continent side by side with Christian missionaries, and more recently with the narcissism of contemporary Western “me culture” expressed particularly in the worst elements of gangsta hip-hop that has become popular with youth across the continent. It is a religion at once far removed from the other-centred Christianity that Jesus embodied and at odds with the traditional values of Igbo and many other African societies.

This presentation examines how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores and critiques this religiosity and charts a path to rediscovery and recovery of the Gospel message via a return to traditional Igbo— and Christian—values. 


2012  Christianity Brewed in an African Pot: Reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'The Shivering'  単独  2012/10/20 
Cultures of Transition: Presence, Absence, Memory  , International Association for Religion, Literature and Culture   

概要(Abstract) This paper discusses Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's story, 'The Shivering.' It examines how Christianity as presented in the story has transformed itself from a foreign religion associated with colonial domination to a truly African religion that speaks to and expresses African religious sensibilities. 


2008  Converting Cultures: A Theological Reading of Chinua Achebe's 'Marriage is a Private Affair'   単独  2008/10/18 
International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture   

概要(Abstract) Drawing on the insights of missiology and contextual theology, in this paper offers a theological reading of Achebe’s early story, “Marriage is a Private Affair.” It shows how this story concisely explores and dramatizes the dynamics of the process of conversion, which leads to and ultimately results in the creation of new cultural norms that successfully inculturate the demands of the Gospel. 


2004  Contested Translations: The Gospel versus Foreign Missionaries in John Munonye's Obi   単独  2004/04/04 
University of Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities    

概要(Abstract) The clash between Christianity and local culture is a recurring theme in postcolonial African fiction. Drawing on the insights of contextual theology and contemporary missiology this paper examines the coflict between missionary and indigene over interpreting the Gospel in Obi, the second novel of John Munonye, a consciously Catholic Nigerian Igbo writer who was a contemporary and friend of Chinua Achebe.  


1998  ポストコロニアル小説における宣教師:3つのイメージ   単独  1998/05 
日本キリスト教文学会第27回全国大会   , 日本キリスト教文学会   

概要(Abstract) This paper examined the portrayal of Christian missionaries in three postcolonial African novels. 


1988  The Portrayal of the Father and Son Relationship in the Novels of Chaim Potok   単独  1988/10 
American Literature Society of Japan 27th National Convention   , American Literature Society of Japan   

概要(Abstract) This paper examined the use of the father-son relationship in the novels of Chaim Potok.  


Name of activities
Period of Activities
2012  Referee  2012/09 

活動内容等(Content of Activities) Served as an academic referee for the journal Religion and Literature, published by the University of Notre Dame.  

2010  Referee  2010/11 

活動内容等(Content of Activities) Served as an academic referee for the journal Christianity and Literature, published by the Conference for Christianity and Literature. 

2010  Referee  2010/09 

活動内容等(Content of Activities) Served as an academic referee for the journal Religion and Literature, published by the University of Notre Dame. 

2009  Referee  2010/03 

活動内容等(Content of Activities) Served as an academic referee for the journal Christianity and Literature, published by the Conference on Christianity and Literature. 

Academic Year
No. of Academic Books
No. of Academic Articles in Journals/Int'l Conference Papers
No. of Academic Articles Pub'd in University Bulletins
No. of Academic Awards Received
No. of Times as Guest Speaker at Int'l Academic Conferences
No. of Presentations of Papers at Int'l Academic Conferences
No. of Times as Guest Speaker at National Academic Conf.
No. of Papers Presented at National Academic Conf.

2018/02/20 更新