Faith and Fiction

by Ron Hansen, Bo Caldwell, Haien Park, Lyle Smith & Natasha Duquette

A roundtable discussion about the intersection of faith and fiction with CCCA Spring 2014 Visionaries-in-Residence Ron Hansen and Bo Caldwell. Joining authors Ron Hansen and Bo Caldwell are Biola University English department professors Haien Park, Lyle Smith and Natasha Duquette.

Ron Hansen is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Professor in the Arts & Humanities at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. Hansen is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and Stanford University. At Stanford University he held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. He has also received fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and was presented with an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters. Mr. Hansen has written ten works of fiction, edited two short story collections and written a book of essays on faith and fiction.

Bo Caldwell’s first novel,The Distant Land of My Father, was a national bestseller, one of the Los Angeles Times' Best Books of 2001, and a Booksense 76 pick. Her second novel, City of Tranquil Light, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, an October 2010 Indie Next Notable, and one of O Magazine's Ten Must Reads for October 2010. Her essays have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, and America Magazine, and her short stories have been included in Story, Ploughshares, Epoch, and other literary journals. She lives in Northern California with her husband, novelist Ron Hansen.

Haein Park teaches courses in early and modern American literature, critical theory and world literature.  She received her B.A. in English from Occidental College, and her Ph.D. in Literature from UC San Diego. After completing a dissertation fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, she was an assistant professor at Valparaiso University in Indiana. At Valparaiso, she taught courses in both the English department and Christ College Honors Program, specializing in religion and American literature. Professor Park approaches literature from an interdisciplinary angle and especially enjoys team-teaching with faculty from other departments.

Lyle Smith grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended Wheaton College, and graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he also completed post-graduate work in English Renaissance studies. His dissertation dealt with the history of English anti-clerical satire between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, culminating in the Martin Marprelate pamphlets of 1588-89. He is married to a beautiful California girl who, for ten years, was a missionary in South Africa, worked until 2004 as a psychotherapist and taught in the Human Services department at California State University, Fullerton.

Natasha Duquette received her MA from the University of Toronto and her PhD from Queen’s University. She is currently associate professor at Biola University where she teaches courses on eighteenth-century literature, Jane Austen, critical theory, and African literature. She has edited two essay collections, Sublimer Aspects: Interfaces between Literature, Aesthetics, and Theology (Cambridge Scholars, 2007) and Jane Austen and the Arts: Elegance, Propriety, and Harmony (Lehigh University Press, 2013). For the Chawton House Library series, she created a critical edition of Helen Maria Williams’s Julia, a novel interspersed with poetical pieces (Pickering & Chatto, 2009). Her monograph Veiled Intent: Dissenting Women’s Aesthetic Approach to Biblical Hermeneutics is forthcoming with Pickwick Publications.

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