Poirot, the Bourgeois Prophet: Agatha Christie’s Biblical Adaptations

Strømmen, H. (2019) Poirot, the Bourgeois Prophet: Agatha Christie’s Biblical Adaptations. In: The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama: Murderous Texts. Scriptural Traces . Bloomsbury T&T Clark, London, pp. 149-166. ISBN 9780567677983

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Agatha Christie’s canon from the Golden Age of crime fiction is sometimes said to be surpassed in popularity only by the Bible. In this chapter, I argue that Christie’s popular detective hero, Hercule Poirot, can be read as a mode of adapting religion to the modern world of Europe after the First World War. Specifically, I suggest that Poirot is presented as a modern prophetic figure. His prophetic persona straddles the secular/sacred boundary in his commitment to rationality, a bourgeois sensibility, and to a moderate form of religiosity. Through the figure of Poirot, Christie reimagines religion as morally relevant for the individual in the local sphere rather than in an overtly political or explicitly theological sense. The Bible is treated as an archive of universal archetypes that remains current for understanding human nature, for determining continuity and universality in a world that is experienced as fractured, threatening and discontinuous.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agatha Christie, Poirot, Golden Age, secularism, prophets, religion, Bible
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Hannah Strommen
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 14:31
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2021 10:27
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/3439

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