This is my Body: Incarnation, Sacrament, and Community in Literature

deadline for submissions: 
December 13, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Conference on Christianity and Literature, Southeast Region
contact email: 

This is my Body: Incarnation, Sacrament, and Community in Literature

March 26-28, 2020

Milligan College, Tennessee

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Gary Selby, Author of Pursuing an Earthy Spirituality: C.S. Lewis and Incarnational Faith (IVP Academic, 2019)

Among the images employed in the New Testament scriptures and throughout the history of Christian theology, the body is among the most versatile. From Jesus’ “hard teachings” about “eating the flesh of the Son of Man” to Paul’s discussion of the church as the Body of Christ, from treatises on the incarnation and debates about the nature of the sacrament to demands from the Christian community for justice toward bodies broken by violence and bodies exploited in the service of distorted desires, bodily language and fleshly concern have been inextricable from the Christian imagination. Likewise, writers who embrace or engage the Christian faith in their work have long drawn on these images and themes, crafting a centuries-long literary tradition shaped by and challenged by Christian engagement with the body.

The Southeast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature invites scholars to participate in conversation about the myriad ways that a Christian understanding of the body has come to bear on literature. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Incarnational poetics;

Sacramental themes in literature;

Positive and negative images of human community in literature;

Literary explorations of asceticism and mortification of the flesh;

Discussions of the body in Medieval and Early Modern literature;

Works by 20th century authors such as Flannery O’Connor, Madeline L’Engle, Wendell Berry, Denise Levertov, Mary Oliver, Scott Cairns, and others who embrace the possibility of the sacred in fleshly life.

As always, we also invite papers on other themes at the intersection of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals. We also invite graduate and undergraduate submissions.

Please submit abstracts of 200-400 words or other inquiries to Todd Edmondson at tedmondson@milligan.edu