THE CONFERENCE ON CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE is an interdisciplinary society dedicated to exploring the relationships between Christianity and literature. Organized formally in 1956, CCL is dedicated to both scholarly excellence and collegial exchange and includes hundreds of members from a variety of academic institutions and religious traditions from the United States, Canada, and more than a dozen other countries.


CCL at MLA 2019 | Chicago

Does literature have transformative potential? Does it increase one’s capacity to pay attention or empathize? Does it form reader’s subjective emotional states? Please join us for the following session at the Modern Language Association annual convention in Chicago, January 3-6, 2019. 

91. Literature and Empathy

Thursday, 3 January 2019, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM, Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Program arranged by the Conference on Christianity & Literature

Presiding: Mark Andrew Eaton, Azusa Pacific U


  1. “Empathetic Witnessing in Shakespeare’s King Lear,” Penelope H. Geng, Macalester C


  1. “Auden and Moore’s Empathic Humor,” Rachel V. Trousdale, Framingham State U


  1. “Difficulty, Empathy, and The Lives of Animals,” Benjamin Mangrum, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Respondent: Suzanne Parker Keen, Hamilton C


CCL at MLA 2018 | New York 

Saturday, January 6, 2018, 1:45pm-3:00pmCCL Panel organized by Mark Eaton and Caleb Spencer

592. The Literary and the Secular

1:45pm-3:00pm, Sutton Center, Hilton

Program arranged by the Conference on Christianity & Literature

Speakers: Randy Boyagoda, U of Toronto; Sean Dempsey, U of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Christopher Douglas, U of Victoria; Kathryn Ludwig, Ball State U; Kevin Seidel, Eastern Mennonite U; Michael Tomko, Villanova U

This session examines recent framings of the secular and the postsecular while considering the best methods for advancing this ongoing critical discussion. Panelists ask whether there is something that can rightly be thought of as religious about the flourishing of (semi-) sacred experiences in literature. Has the religious turn come of age?


CCL at MLA 2017 | Philadelphia

On January 6, 2017 at the MLA annual convention in Philadelphia , CCL organized the following session, which was selected by MLA President Anthony Appiah for inclusion in a select list of featured sessions addressing this year's convention theme "Boundary Conditions":

292. "Here I Stand": Five Hundred Years after Luther

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 411–412, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the Conference on Christianity and Literature

Presiding: Clare Costley King'oo, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs

1. "Martin Luther and the History of Rhetoric," Carl Springer, Univ. of Tennessee, Chattanooga

2. "Martin Luther in Arab and Islamic Writings: The Early Modern Period," Nabil I. Matar, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

3. "Requisitioning Luther in the German Catholic Literary Inner Emigration, 1933–45," Helena Tomko, Villanova Univ.

4. "'The Dark Forces of the Germanic Peoples': Stefan Zweig's and Stefan Heym's Critique of Martin Luther," Gregor A. Thuswaldner, Gordon Coll., MA

For abstracts, write to

We will accommodate the following audiovisual request(s) for your session: Projection equipment for a computer

Keywords: Reformation, religion, rhetoric, Islam, Christianity


CCL at MLA 2016 | Austin

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CCL at MLA 2015 | Vancouver

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CCL at MLA 2014 | Chicago

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The Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL) is pleased to announce our newly elected Board members for the following positions:

Vice-President (two-year term): Carissa Turner Smith (Charleston Southern University)

Secretary (two-year term): Chad Schrock (Lee University)

At-Large Representative (three-year term): Michael Tomko (Villanova University)

• At-Large Representative (three year term): Matthew Potts (Harvard Divinity School)

Congratulations to all our new Board members, thanks to all outgoing Board members, and thanks to all our returning Board members.



We are please to announce that Charles A. Huttar, Professor Emeritus at Hope College, is the inaugural recipient of the Margaret Patterson Hannay Service Award. The award was presented at the CCL Luncheon at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center during the MLA Annual Convention in New York. It was a touching affair to present this award to Professor Huttar, especially given that David Hannay, the husband of the late Margaret Hannay, was on hand for the occasion, as were two of Charles Huttar's daughters and a son-in-law. CCL Vice President Susan Felch wrote the following tribute in honor of Charles A. Huttar:


The Conference on Christianity and Literature Honors 

Charles A. Huttar 


The Margaret Patterson Hannay Service Award 


We do so with deep appreciation for his faithful and continuous service to the society since its initial meeting in 1956. We acknowledge with gratitude his many efforts to advance the work of the Conference as president, board member, historian, presenter at regional meetings, and editor of the society’s newsletter. We celebrate his instrumental role in securing the site for the society's archives at Hope College and in creating the Literature and Religion section of the Modern Language Association. We honor his devotion to creating an exceptional community of scholars and teachers. For his exemplary life of research and service, which has advanced the ideals of CCL throughout the academy, we express our deepest gratitude.



The Conference on Christianity and Literature is pleased to announce that the 2017 CCL Book-of-the-Year Award has been given to David Marno for his book Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Paul Contino, a member of the selection committee, writes about the book: "Death Be Not Proud is an elegant, challenging, and even transformative work of interdisciplinary scholarship. It presents patient and close readings of Donne’s work, ever-attentive to its seventeenth-century religious context, but also offers a profound meditation on the ways in which 'holy attention' – in the forms of prayer, thanksgiving, intellection, sacrifice, and devotion – can enliven holy living."



For announcements about upcoming CCL Regional Conferences, please click here.



Any member of CCL may submit the name of a person to be considered for the award. All nominations are to be made in writing and submitted to the President no later than November 1. Each nomination should be accompanied by a brief letter of recommendation along with either a copy of the nominee’s cv or an equivalent biographical sketch; the latter documents may be supplied in electronic form or as links to web sites containing the information. The CCL Board of Directors will consider the nominations and conclude the selection process at its annual meeting in early January. For a list of the long line of distinguished recipients of the CCL Lifetime Achievement Award, please click here


For information about CCL Fellowships and Grants, please click here



Imago Dei: Poems from Christianity & Literature brings together a collection of poems reflecting on faith and art. The editor of the volume, Jill Baumgaertner, a poet herself, was President of CCL from 1999-2003. For more information, please click here



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