UPDATE: Mideast Conference on Christianity and Literature: Imagination Participation and Co-Creation. 6/15; (10/31-11/1)

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Conference on Christianity and Literature
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2014 Mideast Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature: "The Imagination, Participation, and Co-Creation"
Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, VA
October 31 – November 1, 2014

Plenary Speaker: Alison Milbank, professor of theology and religious studies at The University of Nottingham, Author of Dante and the Victorians and Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians.

Call for Paper and Panel Proposals:
We welcome proposals for both individual papers and panel sessions on the conference theme. Please send paper abstracts and/or session proposals by May 1, 2014 to Dr. Cory Lowell Grewell at clgrewell@phc.edu. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words, and conference papers should be able to be delivered in 20 minutes or fewer.

Conference Description:
Christian thinkers and literary critics from Thomas Aquinas to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Owen Barfield have written at some length about the participation of the human imagination with the divine in the ongoing process of creation. The imagination, for many of these thinkers, is the reflective and active imago dei in the mind of the artist.
Perhaps G. B. Tennyson says it best in his discussion of the imaginative participation in the divine in the respective theories of Barfield and Coleridge. "The Imagination," says Tennyson, "repeats and recapitulates what the unconstrained divine mind (the infinite I AM) is eternally engaged in by creating and sustaining the universe. . . . Put even more simply, the Imagination is what the mind does when it functions at all, and it does so by virtue of participation in the Logos – in other words, by the grace of God." Dorothy Sayers gives a clear picture of what the fruits of co-creation might look like when she notes in The Mind of the Maker that the universe is qualitatively different after Hamlet exists than it was before.

This conference invites papers that explore and analyze the processes of participatory co-creation in imaginative literature and their effects in the forging of meaning, that engage the theory of imaginative participation as it is articulated in literary criticism and/or other disciplines, that speak to the interaction between Christianity and literature with some reference to the role of the imagination and/or co-creation via literature or criticism from any era and geographical locale. It may, in fact, be illuminating to host papers that cover the work of the participatory imagination over a broad swath of time and space.

Additionally, the conference invites proposals and submissions from poets and writers of prose fiction that can be read in 20 minutes or less and might contribute to panels of original creative work. Creative work that lends itself to the conference theme will be privileged.

Questions about the conference should be directed to Cory Lowell Grewell at clgrewell@phc.edu.