"Stewards of Culture: The Role of the Christian Writer in the 21st Century"

October 27-29, 2016

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Keynote Speaker: Gregory Wolfe, Editor and founder of Image and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture at Seattle University

Since the publication of H. Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture in 1951, Christians have been more conscious of how the church has, historically, related to its contemporary culture. Today, with many Christian communities dedicated to a “culture war,” and with orthodox Christianity becoming more obfuscated in entertainment and the arts, the Christian artist may feel an obligation to witness to his or her faith more directly than in earlier cultures. Can artists of faith serve the good of the work, or should they separate from their culture and use the work as a clear vehicle for faith? How can the good, the true, and the beautiful emerge out of a clear authentic Christian vision, one that is true to the artist’s creed and craft?


"Christ and Culture: The Interaction of Faith and Literature Through the Ages"

October 1-3, 2015

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, TX

Keynote Speakers: Luke Ferreter (Baylor University) and David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University)

2015 is a significant year for literature and Christianity because it is the 100th anniversary of T. S. Eliot’s publication of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915), as well as the 50th anniversary of Eliot’s death (1965). His two essays “The Idea of a Christian Society” and “Notes towards the Definition of Culture,” published together as the book Christianity and Culture, have proven significant contributions to today’s understanding of the Christian’s role in society. Eliot’s voice cannot be ignored in discussions of culture, the arts, and the Christian’s relationship to them, and during the 2015 Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature, we would seek to hear echoes of that voice in fresh and diverse ways.

The 2015 SWCCL has as its theme the exploration of those intersections of Christianity and Culture in a broad sense, with special attention given, of course, to the literary arts. This conference invites those who seek to explore the role that Christianity has played in shaping the arts of Western culture in particular. The issues associated with the faith’s influence on literature and, conversely, literature influence on the faith are as old as the founding of the Church; they have also been fraught with controversy and debate. (How should Christians read literature, secular or sacred? What impact should Christians see to have in the arts?)


"Has Literature Lost Its Faith?"

Nov. 14-16, 2014
John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR

Keynote Speaker: Randy Boyagoda, Ryerson University

In December 2012 Paul Elie wrote a New York Times article entitled, "Has Fiction Lost Its Faith?" which sparked conversation among many literati, including Dana Gioia, Gregory Wolfe, and Randy Boyagoda, about the status of faith and literature. This conference aims to continue this discussion. Papers will be considered from a variety of disciplines and fields but should pursue questions regarding the intersection of faith and literature.