Large and Startling Figures @ Catholic Information Center, Washington [6 September]

Large and Startling Figures

18:00 - 19:30

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Catholic Information Center
1501 K St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20005
What does the search for God look like in the modern world and what would it mean to find Him today—or to be found by Him? A rich corpus of modern Catholic and Christian literature has explored these questions in diverse and insightful ways. This series will feature just four such authors: the novelist and short story writer Flannery O'Connor, who wrote about what she called the «Christ-Haunted» American South; Norway's Sigrid Undset, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist and Catholic convert; and the duo of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. These authors addressed the life of Faith in light of the modern and postmodern concerns they were faced with in their own time, and can teach us today how to think about the search for God today.

— Large and Startling Figures
Flannery O’Connor’s Postmodern Apologetic
with Dr. Frederick C. Bauerschmidt

Writing to a friend in the mid-1950s, the American fiction writer Flannery O’Connor noted that we live in an age in which “the moral sense has been bred out of certain sections of the population, like the wings have been bred off certain chickens to produce more white meat on them….This is a Generation of wingless chickens, which I suppose is what Nietzsche meant when he said God was dead.” In such a situation, she felt, subtlety could not work: “you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.” Dr. Bauerschmidt will explore how, through her fiction, O’Conner presented her Catholic vision by means of grotesque and often shockingly violent tales in which the absolute demands of belief clash with postmodern indifference, attempting to open jaded modern readers to the possibility of transcendent truth.

Reception to follow event.

Part Two–“Saved in Hope: The Christian Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis” with Philip Zaleski

Part Three–“The Drama of Grace: Sigrid Undset and the Narrative of Conversion” with Fr. Raymund Snyder, OP

— About the Speaker:
Dr. Frederick C. Bauerschmidt is Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland and a deacon of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He has published book on the theology of Thomas Aquinas and the Christian mystical tradition, as well as numerous articles on Catholic life and thought.
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