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The Hillbilly Thomist: Flannery O'Connor's Catholic Imagination

May 22, 2018
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Paul Mankowski, SJLumen Christi Institute

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6:00 Dinner | 6:30 Lecture

This weekly non-credit course is open to current students and faculty. Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.

The fiction writer and essayist Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) once complained that she was pegged as "a hillbilly nihilist," whereas she viewed herself as "a hillbilly Thomist."  Her profound Catholic faith served in many respects to detach her from the rural Georgia in which she lived and worked, and at the same time gave her a sympathy for and insight into the radical non-conformists of the Protestant South, such that her often grotesque characters are conveyed by convincing human portraits that at the same time rise above the particulars of time and place so as to speak to the Big Questions of faith and unbelief, salvation and damnation.
 
This course will examine in detail seven of O'Connor's short stories, as well as the theology and artistic convictions from which they come to be, supplemented by letters selected from her published correspondence.  Volunteers will be recruited to prepare and read aloud brief excerpts from the stories.  No previous acquaintance with the works of O'Connor is required or presumed.
 
 
April 3rd
The Hillbilly Thomist: An introduction to O'Connor and her work.

April 10th
"The Enduring Chill"

April 17th
"A Temple of the Holy Ghost"

April 24th
"A Late Encounter with the Enemy"

May 1st
"The Life You Save May Be Your Own"

May 8th
"Parker's Back"

May 15th
"A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

May 22nd
"Revelation"

You can watch a profile of Flannery O'Connor HERE.


Paul Mankowski, SJ is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Lumen Christi InstituteA native of South Bend, Indiana, and a member of the Society of Jesus, Paul Mankowski has an A.B. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from Oxford, and a PhD in Semitic Philology from Harvard University. He taught for many years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and has published in areas of language, theology, and the biblical text.