Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Joan Latchaw


In this thesis, I argue that Frederick Buechner and Walker Percy use fiction to expand and elucidate on the Christian existentialist philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard and Gabriel Marcel. More specifically, I argue that sex tends to function in their novels as an avenue of grace, which ends or at least soothes the existential alienation and despair that is the hallmark of the human condition. Buechner's treatment of this theme in his novel Lion Country is less sophisticated than Percy's, seen in The Last Gentleman and The Second Coming: sex is wholly positive for Buechner' s characters, while for Percy, sex can be either negative or positive, and while the novelists' heroes come to similar conclusions, Percy's Will Barrett takes a much longer time getting there.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2007 Michial D. Farmer II