The nature-grace question concerns whether, on the one hand, there is such a thing as pure nature with grace belonging to a realm extrinsic to it or, on the other hand, nature depends on grace in order to be itself. In my contributions to the site, efforts are made to give expression to the latter view, to find ways of articulating this mystery and to encourage those somewhat attracted to it but perhaps frustrated by the inescapable sense of the unfathomable or unawoken to the joy that attends it. You will find a complete listing of my contributions here.
My early work, including Chaucer on Love, Knowledge, and Sight (1995) and articles on French and other medieval literature, explored relational aspects of knowing in terms of the motif of sight. I have been interested in the ways in which Chaucer in particular complicates our modern understanding of disciplines and categories such as “science,” “love poetry,” and “belief.” With my friend and hermeneutics specialist Jens Zimmermann, that interest has developed into an exploration of the situatedness and self-knowledge involved in all attempts to make sense of things, not least those flying under the banner of humanism (of whatever kind). We articulated some of these ideas in an introductory way in The Passionate Intellect (2006). Recent publications include articles on Chaucer’s joyful tone in a mid-career poem critical of abuses of love, entries on “poetry and poetics” and “literature and spirituality” for Zondervan’s recent Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, and an article for Modern Philology, not yet out, on a strangely overlooked punctuation error in all modern editions of Chaucer’s most famous sentence. I am currently thinking about the deep joy that seems to characterize descriptions of participatory theology and theological aesthetics.
I am married with three boys and have lived with my family in Oxford, England and Vancouver, British Columbia before moving to southern Ontario. I enjoy sports, the spiritual formation of d.i.y., running with the dog (Keely), and just hanging out with my family. I currently serve as chair of the English department and interim Associate Dean atSt Jerome’s University, federated with the UniversityofWaterloo.