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Fine Arts & Faith: Literature with Karen Swallow Prior

We’re back! The podcast took a break in June and we are back with a new series on faith and the fine arts. We like to think of it as a summer school for grown-ups where we get to take all of the electives we didn’t have time for in school. As we think through the arts, we can look for what is true and beautiful and how that is a reflection of God’s nature. That’s our kind of curriculum!

We are kicking the series off with English professor Karen Swallow Prior to talk about the benefits of reading good literature. We discuss why reading literature matters, how our reading habits are changing with technology use, and the importance of setting aside time and space to appreciate the beautiful. Karen explains how experiencing lessons with a character helps to grow our empathy in a different way than simply reading the moral of a story and how reading can enhance our Christian faith.

It’s not too late to do some fun summer reading. This conversation can inspire you to pick up an old classic or a modern novel. Karen reminds us that speed doesn’t matter when reading through a novel, so no pressure to check books off your list, but she does share some of her favorites in case you need a recommendation from a professor. Consider this your summer school English class that will change how and why you are picking up that great novel.

Connect with Karen

We’re sure you’ll want to connect with Karen. Find her on her website and of course on Twitter!

Listen to the episode here

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A few things mentioned on the show

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Three classic novels just released with Karen’s introductions, notes, and discussion questions:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Karen’s favorite book picks of all time: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

What Karen is currently reading: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Thank you to our partner

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