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2009 Seminars

CCCU English Workshop
Professing Literature: Christian Engagement with Contemporary Literary Studies
July 6 - 10, 2009

Directed by
Susan VanZanten , Roger W. Lundin



Seminar Description

This workshop will be a collaborative effort to gain a better understanding of the pressing issues facing Christian professors of literature who desire to practice faithful pedagogy and scholarship during a time of significant soul searching in the discipline.  We will address three basic questions:

  1. What is the current status of our discipline? What particular questions and challenges face us today in the profession of teaching and writing about literature? 
  2. What are the key strengths and resources that Christian professors bring to these challenges?
  3. What theological resources and spiritual practices might help us become better Christian teacher-scholars?

This workshop will be led by Dr. Roger Lundin (Wheaton) and Dr. Susan Gallagher (Seattle Pacific), who will guide the participants through a common set of readings, conversations, and short papers.  The primary format will be that of a seminar, with extensive readings, writing, and discussion.

About the Directors

Susan VanZanten grew up in Lynden, Washington, a small Dutch farming town on the Canadian border. She earned her B.A. at Westmont College in 1978 and her Ph.D. from Emory University in 1982. Currently, she is a Professor of English and the Director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development at Seattle Pacific University. Susan has written extensively on Christian approaches to literary study, South African literature, and nineteenth-century American literature. Along with many essays in both academic and general journals, her book publications include Literature Through the Eyes of Faith (with Roger Lundin; Harper, 1989), A Story of South Africa: The Fiction of J.M. Coetzee in Context (Harvard, 1991) Postcolonial Literature and the Biblical Call for Justice (U of Miss P, 1994), Literature and the Renewal of the Public Sphere (Macmillan, 2000), and Truth and Reconciliation: The Confessional Mode in South African Literature
(Heinemann, 2002).

Susan has worked in a variety of ways to help young Christian teacher-scholars: with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Lilly Fellows Program, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, and the Lilly Programs for Theological Exploration of Vocation. She has led an innovative New Faculty Seminar at SPU for the past ten years and currently is at work on a book called Joining the Mission: A Guide for New Faculty. While living within the Christian metanarrative and a Christian community, she tries to bring her faith to bear on all of her activities, including raising herbs, planting flowers, vacuuming cat fur, and loving her seventeen-year old son. Next year, she plans to take a six-month sabbatical to immerse herself in the world of Emily Dickinson.

Roger Lundin is the Blanchard Professor of English and Director of Faith and Learning at Wheaton College (Illinois). He is the author and editor of a number of books on nineteenth-century American literature, hermeneutics, and the intersection of religion and literature; they include There Before Us: Religion, Literature, and Culture from Emerson to Wendell Berry; From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority; Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief; and The Promise of Hermeneutics (with Anthony C. Thiselton and Clarence Walhout). Lundin is also the author of Believing Again: Doubt and Faith in a Secular Age, and the editor of Invisible Conversations: Religion in the Literature of America, both of which will be published in early 2009.