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Reading (and Writing) as a Catholic: The Way of Beauty and the Way of Art

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Online Event


open book beside white ceramic teacup on saucer


Joshua Hren, Ph.D.

Founding Professor of Fiction at the MFA program in Creative Writing

University of St. Thomas, Houston

William Gonch, Ph.D.

Managing Director

Scala Foundation

Event Overview

A Webinar with Dr. Joshua Hren and Dr. William Gonch

How does the art of fiction relate to faith? And how does beauty relate to fiction? In this webinar, writer and professor Joshua Hren will address the relationship between the art of fiction and the Catholic, sacramental understanding of reality. As Hren notes in his recent book, How to Read (and Write) Like a Catholic, John Henry Newman wrote that, “If Literature is to be made a study of human nature, you cannot have a Christian Literature. It is a contradiction in terms to attempt a sinless Literature of sinful man.” Nevertheless, Newman did not oppose literary creation, and he supported the reading of great literature. But Newman’s line captures the tension between representing sinful human beings and representing the supernatural Grace that transforms and redeems those human beings. How can represent sacramental reality? Can the art of fiction depict, or carry, supernatural hope? Dr. Hren will speak on the possibilities in a contemporary revival of Catholic literature, and the artistic problems that such a revival would need to resolve.