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Faculty: David Urban

David UrbanDavid Urban, Associate Professor, English

Office: CFAC 277 (directions)


Educational/Professional Background

Professor Urban graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University in 1990 with a B.A. in English.  After teaching in universities in China for two years, he returned to the U.S. and received his M.A. in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1994), his M.Div. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School of Trinity International University (1998), and his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2001).  While in Chicago he taught at several universities, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, North Park University, Roosevelt University, and Loyola University.  Upon completing his Ph.D., he taught at Oklahoma Baptist University from 2001 until 2003, when he joined Calvin College’s English department.

Academic Interests/Areas of Specialization

  • Renaissance and seventeenth-century British literature (especially Milton and Shakespeare)
  • American literature through the Civil War
  • Modern Drama
  • Bible as literature

Selected Activities

Professor Urban has written articles and reviews on subjects including Milton, Donne, Hawthorne, Melville, Fugard and Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, the Bible as literature, and pedagogy for journals such as Milton Studies, Milton Quarterly, Review of English Studies, Christianity and Literature, Religion and Literature, Cithara, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, Renascence, Early Modern Literary Studies, Appositions: Studies in Renaissance/ Early Modern Literature and Culture and in several book chapters.  He has co-edited Visionary Milton: Essays on Prophecy and Violence, he completed and edited an annotated bibliography on Milton scholarship, and he is completing a book-length study entitled The Parabolic Milton: The Self and the Bible in John Milton’s Writings, which focuses Milton’s use of and identification with several figures in Matthew’s parables.  He is also working on a book project entitled Through the Real: Embracing or Evading the Finite in Shakespeare, Milton, Hawthorne, and Modern Drama.

Favorite Books

  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • King Lear and The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West
  • Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne’s and Flannery O’Connor’s short stories
  • George Herbert’s and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry
  • Jonathan Edwards’ sermons
  • John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion


  • Running
  • Spending time with his wife, Adrienne, and their sons Daniel and Gabriel
  • Listening to Bob Dylan and jazz
  • His favorite movie directors are Woody Allen and Orson Wells
  • The Urban family are big fans of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the local AHL hockey team 

Additional Information

Download a curriculum vitae