OBU to Host Conference on Christianity, Literature

Oklahoma Baptist University will host the annual Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature Oct. 2-4. "Christianity and the ‘Things of this World'" will be the theme of this year's event, which will include presenters from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

"The theme for the conference emerged from a meeting we held last year at OBU before classes began," said Dr. Andrew Armond, OBU assistant professor of English. "Members of the English faculty came up with several themes and ultimately decided on this one.

"We agreed that much of Christian literature and art throughout the centuries has tried to come to terms with the relationship of the ‘things of this world'- such as the human body, the environment, or even human institutions - to the transcendental things of God."

OBU was chosen to host the annual conference during the 2007 conference conducted at Dallas Baptist University. The conference location rotates between its three-state region and will be sponsored at Houston Baptist University next year.

Along with hosting the conference, two OBU students and three OBU faculty members will present papers during the event. Senior Jessica Hill will present a paper titled, "Bridging Illyria and the Real World: The songs of Feste in Twelfth Night." Senior Billy Benson will present a paper during the conference titled, "Christian Beliefs in Pushing the Bear."

Faculty presenters will include Dr. Bill Hagen, Dr. Benjamin Myers and Dr. Warren McWilliams. McWilliams, OBU's Auguie Henry Professor of Bible and interim dean of the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, will present a work titled "Theology in Street Clothes: Epistolary Theology and Everyday Christianity."

The conference will welcome a special guest speaker for Friday night's activities. Gregory Wolfe will speak during a banquet and present his piece, "The Poetics of Desire: Sacramentalism vs. Gnosticism in Contemporary Literature." Wolfe is a writer in residence at Seattle Pacific University and the founder and editor of Image, one of America's leading literary quarterlies.

The conference will cost $90 for guests to attend. Those interested can register on Thursday night or Friday in the upper level of OBU's Geiger Center.