The Power of the Word: Poetry, Theology and Life

The Power of the Word: Poetry, Theology and Life Conference

This  conference  is organized by Heythrop College and the Institute of English Studies, University of London, and is being held from 17th-18th June 2011.

Religion has always been part of Western literary traditions. Many canonical literary texts engage extensively with theology and religious faith and practice, and theological and spiritual writers make liberal use of literary genres, tropes and strategies. Recent work in philosophy of religion, theology, the study of religions and literary criticism has once again brought to the fore issues which arise when literature, faith, theology and life meet, whether in harmony or in conflict. This international conference aims to:

• foster a dialogue among scholars in theology, philosophy, spirituality and literature and between these and creative writers;
• discuss the ‘truth’ of poetry and the ‘truth’ of theology in relation to each other;
• reassess the idea of poetry as a criticism of life;
• discuss the relationship between faith, theology and the creative imagination through an examination of theoretical issues and the study of specific texts;
• examine the importance of poetry for personal and social identity, social cohesion and relations between faiths and cultures.
Information about Keynote Speakers and Key Panel Speakers along with a Full Programme is now available. For queries regarding accomodation and registration please contact

Conference organizers: David Lonsdale (Heythrop College, University of London) and Dr Francesca Bugliani Knox (Heythrop College, University of London):;

Conference committee: Professor John Took (UCL),  Dr Anna Abram (Heythrop College), Dr Antonio Spadaro (Gregorian University, Rome), Dr James Sweeney (Heythrop College), David Lonsdale (Heythrop College),  Dr Francesca Bugliani Knox (Heythrop College), Dr Michael Kirwan (Heythrop College).


  • Anna M. Blanch is a regular contributor to Transpositions. She is Australian by birth, and inclination, Anna grew up surrounded by the Australian bush, a large extended family, bush poetry, and sport. Anna is currently writing her PhD in Theology and Literature. She finds photography, enjoying her environment and its fruits, and being in community bring her joy.

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