Educators and students of literature gathered on the 21st floor of the Cityplex Towers for the Southwestern Conference on Christianity and Literature (SWCCL) this past week.
ORU has not hosted the SWCCL in multiple years and was eager to host it again this year.
“Schools volunteer to host the annual meeting, and it had been a while since ORU had hosted,” said ORU Professor of English William Epperson. “The SWCCL wanted ORU to host it and [Dean of College of Arts and Cultural Studies] Mark Hall agreed to it.”
ORU faculty and students had the opportunity to write and present papers on topics including faith and contemporary culture, literature and its view of the world and contemporary authors and their witness of faith.
Epperson designed the program and the theme to center on the encounter between Christians and their culture. “Rather than retreating in a kind of ‘cultural war’ as it is called, how can we positively engage our culture and contribute to our culture as Christians?” said Epperson. “‘Image’ magazine is quite a beautiful magazine that shows what Christians are doing in writing, poetry, stories and visual arts.”
Gregory Wolfe, editor and founder of “Image,” was chosen as the keynote speaker for the conference. In the journal, Wolfe presents contemporary art and literature as they relate to religious tradition of Western culture.
“We are trying to do what I think Greg Wolfe is trying to do in ‘Image’ magazine, encouraging the encounter between Christians and their culture,” said Epperson.