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.
2022 CCL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Conference on Christianity and Literature is pleased to announce that Jewel Spears Brooker is a recipient of the 2022 CCL Lifetime Achievement Award. The award citation reads as follows:
The Conference on Christianity and Literature honors Jewel Spears Brooker as the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. As a former President of the Conference on Christianity and Literature and a world-renowned expert on Modernist literature, Dr. Brooker's career as teacher, scholar, and leader has demonstrated a deep commitment to literature that addresses the most profound questions of human existence and meaning. The author or editor of 11 books, Dr. Brooker is one of the pre-eminent T. S. Eliot scholars of the past half-century. Her most recent book is T. S. Eliot's Dialectical Imagination (2018), and she has co-edited (with Ronald Schuchard) two volumes of the critical edition of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: Apprentice Years, 1905-1918 (2014) and Still and Still Moving, 1954-1965 (2019). She also wrote Mastery and Escape: T. S. Eliot and the Dialectic of Modernism (1994) and Reading The Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation (1990, co-author, Joseph Bentley). She has also edited T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews (2004), Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays (1988), and Conversations with Denise Levertov (1998). Combining the close-reading sensibilities of a first-rate literary critic with philosophical, theoretical, and theological acumen, Dr. Brooker has led readers of Eliot on a “hermeneutical journey” in which we return to familiar texts again and know them for the first time.
2022 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Conference on Christianity and Literature is pleased to announce that the 2022 CCL Book of the Year Award has been awarded to Monica West for her book Revival Season: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, 2021).
2021 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The 2021 CCL Book of the Year Award was awarded to Christina Bieber Lake for her book Beyond the Story: American Literary Fiction and the Limits of Materialism (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019).
2022 LIONEL BASNEY AWARD
The Conference on Christianity and Literature is delighted to award the Lionel Basney award for the best article in the 2022 volume of Christianity and Literature to Haein Park for her essay “Sentimentalism, Realism, and Secularity in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” Park’s article enters a longstanding critical debate about the novel’s ending and its evident departure from the novel’s realism, arguing convincingly that “a more constructive interpretation rests in examining how [the final scenes] reveal Wharton’s negotiation of transcendence within the genre of realism.” Drawing on Charles Taylor's work on secularism and specifically the “imminent frame,” Park demonstrates the “powerful phenomenological” urge toward transcendence experienced by Wharton's protagonist Lily Bart even in an American milieu dominated by economic exchange based on utilitarian calculation, a world of desiccated Christian practice. Wharton’s depiction of Bart’s participation in an alternative “gift economy” at the novel’s end, Park shows, has generally been dismissed as an uncharacteristic reversion to the sentimentalism that marked earlier American women’s writing rather than a sign of Wharton’s proper role as an American literary realist. Park carefully traces dissenting scholarship—as well as Wharton's own complex religious identity—before ultimately drawing on Jean Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, and Kathryn Tanner to show how Wharton embeds the radical nature of the gift—or grace—in her narrative in such a way as to negotiate the possibility of transcendence within the genre of realism rather than outside it.
The adjudicating committee commented favorably on Park’s elegant prose, masterful engagement with the extant criticism, compelling close reading, and integration of philosophical and theological concepts that genuinely illuminate Wharton’s novel. The essay beautifully exemplifies how an approach to literature that takes Christianity seriously as a way of knowing can give a more adequate aesthetic and intellectual account of some major writers whose commentators have not tended to approach their work through the lens of religion. In this way, Park’s essay contributes significantly both to Wharton studies and to the broader discipline of Christianity and literature.
CCL at MLA 2024 | Philadelphia
191. James Baldwin: Then and Now
FRIDAY, 5 JANUARY 8:30 AM-9:45 AM, COMMONWEALTH A2 (LOEWS)
Mark Andrew Eaton, Claremont Graduate U
1. Michael Lackey, University of Minnesota, Morris
“James Baldwin’s Critique of Christian Nationalism”
2. Bryan Santin, Concordia U
“The Self-Confrontation of Prayer: The Christian Right in James Baldwin’s Later Essays”
3. Mark Andrew Eaton, Claremont Graduate U
“James Baldwin and the Culture Wars”
CCL at MLA 2023 | San Francisco
402. Global Christianities and Global Literatures, Saturday, January 7, 2023, 8:30-9:45am, Moscone West 2002
Mark Eaton, Azusa Pacific University
- Angelica Duran, Purdue University
"Milton’s Early Modern English Protestant Paradise Lost on the Modern Mexican Public Stage"
- Bennett DiDente Comerford, Harvard University
“A Global Literature of Vernacular Proportions: Language, Religion, & Resistance in Modern Bengali”
- Mary W. McCampbell, Lee University
"A Clash of Kingdoms: Secondary Trauma and Spiritual Formation in Purple Hibiscus and Transcendent Kingdom"
Respondent: Cynthia R. Wallace, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
CCL at MLA 2022 | Washington, DC
Belief and Dante: Global perspectives on The Divine Comedy
2021 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death and the completion of The Divine Comedy. The Conference on Christianity and Literature invites paper proposals for the 2022 MLA conference that consider the contemporary relevance of Dante’s work, across geographies, traditions, genres, and languages. In particular, this panel invites papers that seek to explore, interrogate, or clarify the stakes and status of belief itself, whether in Dante or in contemporary responses to the poem.
CCL at MLA 2021 | Toronto
CCL at MLA 2020 | Seattle
CCL at MLA 2019 | Chicago
CCL at MLA 2018 | New York
CCL at MLA 2017 | Philadelphia
CCL at MLA 2016 | Austin
CCL at MLA 2015 | Vancouver
CCL at MLA 2014 | Chicago
THE SCHOLARS OF LITERATURE AND RELIGION (SOLAR) NETWORK HAS LAUNCHED!
The Conference on Christianity & Literature is pleased to invite you to take advantage of this new tool from the Rivendell Center for Theology and the Arts (RCTA) at Yale University. This online directory is designed to serve both students and scholars working at the intersection of literature and religion. Find out more by clicking here.
UPCOMING REGIONAL CONFERENCES
For announcements about upcoming CCL Regional Conferences, please click here.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
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.
CCL FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS
For information about CCL Fellowships and Grants, please click here.