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Evenings with American Lit.: A Conversation on Reading with Gospel Eyes

This fall Sojourn Arts will host a series of evening discussions to facilitate a conversation over a selection of post-1945 American Literature. We will discuss what we’ve read (from the selected works) and learned (from lectures and documentaries) asking crucial questions about their writings and how the gospel and church answers these emotions, desires, and questions.

Christians study the Bible primarily to understand our world. However, we should study the writings and thoughts from our culture as well in order see the traces of God’s Word in their messages and learn to respond with God’s truth to our culture in a way that resonates with our particular cultural underpinnings (some of these underpinnings come from this era of post-1945 American literature).

So, here’s the syllabus and game plan if you would like to join us. You can sign up for the evenings here

If you are in Louisville, I think we’ll do five meet-ups starting at 8pm (Location TBA) Each meet up will have a different facilitator leading the discussion.

We want to read a wide range of post-1945 American authors to answer three questions:

  • What themes of desire, hope, guilt, shame, fears, dreams, and angst arising from the text?
  • How does the author’s articulation of these elements at work in the current American cultural and social landscape? How does this describe us?
  • Finally, how does the gospel and church of Jesus Christ address these elements and issues typified in these writings and our broader American culture? What specifically, are God’s answers to this heart and soul permutations?

Try to Finish the Reading and Lectures before the meet up, but it’s okay if you can’t make every meeting or finish every reading. Remember, You can sign up for the evenings here

October 9th, James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time led by James Westbrook 

November 6th, Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian led by Michael Morgan

December 4th, Hunter S. Thompson, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, led by Josh Thomas


Lectures /Documentaries to Watch in Conjunction

“I am Not Your Negro” a documentary on James Baldwin (available on many platforms)

Yale Lectures, post-1945 on McCarthy

“Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride” a documentary on Hunter S. Thompson 

Earlier Event: October 3
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