Nature and Grace

I teach literature and literary theory at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo. My recent book about The Canterbury Tales, entitled The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision, offers a theological interpretation of Chaucer’s political vision. It has been awarded a 2017 Excellence in Publishing Award – Theology (3rd place) by the Association of Catholic Publishers. I have also written recently on literature and poetry for the Zondervan Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

My early work concerns relational aspects of knowing. With Jens Zimmermann, this interest developed into an exploration of the Christian recognition of the situatedness and self-knowledge involved in all attempts to make sense of things. We articulate some of these ideas in an introductory way in The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education (2006).

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.

I live in Hamilton with my wife Anne. We have three grown-up sons.

Norm Klassen

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