Three days, 94 papers and suffering at TWU.

Literary heavyweights making keynote addresses included Dr. Jens Zimmerman Professor of English and Canada Research Chair in Religion, Interpretation and Culture (Trinity Western University), Dr. Maxine Hancock – Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Spiritual Theology (Regent College), Professor Erica Grimm-Vance – Assistant Professor of Art (Trinity Western University), Dr. David Lyle Jeffery – Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities (Baylor University), and Professor Lynn Szabo – Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department (Trinity Western University).

Conference headliner and Ireland's “public intellectual” Richard Kearney, made the final keynote address on Saturday morning where he examined the subject of faith and doubt through the twin lenses of philosophy and literature, finishing with a strong round of applause and questions from his audience. Kearney holds the Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College, is an accomplished author and editor and has written speeches for Ireland's former President Mary Robinson.

TWU's Associate Professor of English Holly Nelson, who was also one of the main organizers of the conference, says, “'Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime'”, proved to be an invigorating intellectual and spiritual exercise. Academics from the fields of English literature, history, philosophy, education, religious studies, computing sciences, and the fine and performing arts from across the globe, and members of the local community, successfully explored in innovative and challenging ways the complex relationship between the traumatic and the transcendent. Conference participants felt that the conference was not only intellectually stimulating, but also useful in addressing the various manifestations of suffering in everyday life.”

This Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature was sponsored in part by The Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust.

Keynote lectures from the 2007 conference are available for viewing on

More information on the Department of English and “Through a Glass Darkly” can be found by visiting

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from business, communications and education to biotechnology and nursing, and offers 15 graduate degrees in such areas as counseling psychology, business, the humanities, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum