The Art of Spiritual Friendship

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature
contact email: 

16-17 October 2020

Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature

Dallas Baptist University


Dr. Paul Wadell, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Wadell currently teaches philosophy, Christian ethics, and theology at St. Norbert College. He is the author of The Christian Moral Life—Faithful Discipleship for a Global Society, co-authored with Patricia Lamoureux (2010); The Moral of the Story: Learning from Literature about Human and Divine Love (2003); and Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship (2002), as well as other books.

As Parker Palmer has observed, “The highest form of love is the love that allows for intimacy without the annihilation of difference.” For many, the experience of friendship offers a window into such a love, for though it may occur among lovers and family, as often it is found among those connected by only a shared passion or concern. Friendship, then, is not just a common regard and affection for others, but also a common task and joy. The literature of Christianity offers a rich tradition of reflection upon the many facets of friendship—with God, with our fellow humans, and with the natural world, and the “art of spiritual friendship” may be said to encompass not only the moral and intellectual skill of being friends, but also the cultural works that embody it in print, on stage, and in film.

Suggested topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Literary friendships
  • Friendship as a virtue
  • Friendship and community
  • Friendship as spiritual formation
  • Friendship with God through prayer or liturgy
  • Monastic friendships
  • Love and friendship
  • Cultural liturgies and friendship
  • Friendship and identity
  • Friendship and the natural world
  • Eco-criticism and friendship
  • Friendship and spirituality in popular media

As always, SWCCL is open to other proposals concerning the relationship of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals. (Readings of original poetry and fiction will also be considered. Please email for details.)

Send abstracts (200-400 words) via email to

Or mail to: Dr. Philip Mitchell, University Honors Program, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX 75211. ATTN: SWCCL Proposal