Many of us can name novels and poetry which affected us deeply and nourished our inner being. In his new book Matthew Wickman describes how his reading of literary works led to spiritual experiences. Here is the book's overview:
Spiritual experiences are famously transformative. They sometimes inspire dramatic effects of conversion and healing, of vision and new life direction. But even in their more quotidian forms they expand our cognitive and emotional capacities, help cultivate virtues, and intensify our feelings of closeness to God, others, and things we deem ultimate. For Wickman, spiritual experience makes us feel more deeply alive. And literature functions as a special medium for capturing the nuances of spiritual experiences, helping us reflect more deeply on them and become more receptive to them. In his case, literature has also helped him negotiate the complex relationship between spirituality, faith, and organized religion. He discusses all this by way of deeply personal experiences, theological reflection, and discussion of literary texts by Virginia Woolf, Denise Levertov, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christian Wiman, and more.
Wickman, Matthew. Life to the Whole Being: The Spiritual Memoir of a Literature Professor. Provo, UT : Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2022.
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