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 International Conference

Join CCL for The Problem with God: Christianity and Literature in Tension at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA on March 29-30, 2019. To register for the conference, please visit the conference website here.

There are two registration options for this conference:

1. Basic conference registration fee of $125, which includes a Friday evening reception, plus snacks in the morning and afternoon on Saturday.

2. Basic Plus registration fee of $145, which includes the Friday reception, morning and afternoon snacks on Saturday, and a lunch on Saturday as well.

Registration deadline is March 1. Late registration fee will be $50.

CCL at MLA 2020 | Seattle
Life Writing and the Life of Faith
Session Hosted by the Conference on Christianity and Literature at the 2020 MLA Convention in Seattle, WA
9-12 January 2020
Through more than four decades of writing, poet Marilyn Nelson, the Conference on Christianity and Literature’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, has limned the shapes of life and faith. This work includes explorations of her own life in personal lyric and the childhood verse-memoir How I Discovered Poetry, but it has also, perhaps even more typically, involved writing other lives. Carver: A Life in Verse examines the inseparability of scientific vocation, racialized experience, and Christian faithfulness in the extraordinary character of George Washington Carver. The Homeplace tells a family history populated by figures all the way back to Nelson’s great-great-great grandmother. The sonnet sequence A Wreath for Emmett Till memorializes the “mutilated boy martyr” while condemning “the blasphemies pronounced to justify / the profane, obscene theft of human lives.” In these and other books, Nelson has undertaken a concerted project of poetic life writing that is at once faith-filled and searching.
Nelson’s project raises questions of genre and purpose: what difference does poetry make to biography and autobiography? What risks haunt versified hagiography? What possibilities arise in the interstices of Christian struggle, self-narration, and aesthetic form? How do writers negotiate private and public purposes in life writing, including disciplines of contemplation and prophetic calls for justice?
Nelson’s project also raises questions of history and reception. Life writing has been a Christian endeavor from at least Augustine’s Confessions and Athanasius’s biography of Anthony of the Desert, not to mention the Gospels; how have twentieth-century developments like confessional poetry, the 1990s memoir boom, digital life writing, and the ongoing unfolding of (post)secular contexts complicated contemporary life writing and its relation to the tradition? How do we theorize readers’ and writers’ unflagging interest in both ancient and new life writing texts and their place in Christian practice?
Inspired by Nelson’s poetry of lives and faith, the Conference on Christianity and Literature invites papers that explore these questions. We welcome papers on Nelson’s engagements with faith in her life writing as well as papers on our topic more broadly construed.
Please send 250-word abstracts and brief C.V. to Cynthia Wallace ( by March 22, 2019.
CCL at MLA 2019 | Chicago

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CCL at MLA 2018 | New York

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CCL at MLA 2017 | Philadelphia

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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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