In this episode, Dr. James Arcadi and Dr. Michelle Knight interview Dr. Christina Bieber Lake, a Henry Center Fellow this year, and Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College. Christina made the long journey north from Wheaton to spend this year researching at TEDS, and in this episode, she shares the work she is doing to show how novels and poetry have a profound impact on how we inhabit our worlds.
Christina began her career with a strong desire to teach English in a way informed by her Christian confession, an impulse supported by her initial work on Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor also stimulated her efforts to combat Gnostic tendencies in Christian practice, tendencies that prefer to see human beings more like disembodied “angels” than embodied and finite. Instead, Christina calls Christians to inhabit their worlds differently—slowly, more appreciative of the mundane, more sensitive to beauty—and the primary way she calls them to do so is through stories. Narratives, she argues in her book Beyond the Story and in her current Henry Center work, invite us into new worlds that are opened to us, calling us to remember the world as enchanted and that times of leisure and non-productivity are not times that are wasted. She concludes with some reflections on how this can be applied in the work of a teacher (and ostensibly beyond), from her book, The Flourishing Teacher.
Along the way, listeners will discover…
To find out more about Dr. Christina Bieber Lake, there is no better place than her website. Also check out her profile at the Henry Center, her faculty page at Wheaton, or read one of her many books.