Reading Lists

I’m teaching a British Literature survey (ENGL 203) and English Renaissance survey next semester. Here are my reading lists.

ENGL 203:

  • Introductions: Medieval Period, Sixteenth Century, Early 17th Century, Restoration/18th Century
  • Beowulf
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue and The Pardoner’s Tale
  • Faith In Conflict
  • Renaissance Love and Desire – Introduction
  • Astrophil and Stella – Sir Philip Sidney
  • King Lear – William Shakespeare
  • Holy Sonn

    ets – John Donne

  • George Herbert – all included poetry
  • Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (all included material) – Amelia Lanyer
  • Crisis of Authority
  • Paradise Lost Books I, II, III, IX – John Milton
  • Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
  • Gulliver’s Travels Part 1 and 4 – Jonathan Swift

ENGL 358:

  • “The Renaissance Imagination: Second World and Green World” – Harry Berger Jr.
  • Utopia – Thomas More
  • Faith in Conflict all selections
  • The Schoolmaster – Roger Ascham
  • Castiglione’s The Courtier – Thomas Hoby
  • Women in Power – Elizabeth I selections
  • The Faerie Queene Book I – Edmund Spenser
  • The Defense of Poesy – Sir Philip Sidney
  • Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe
  • Volpone – Ben Jonson
  • The Duchess of Malfi – John Webster
  • Andrew Marvell all poetry
  • Paradise Lost (complete) – John Milton
Reading Lists

A Teaching Reading List

I’m dipping into Wayne Booth’s collection of occasional essays titled The Vocation of a Teacher. In a footnote to the essay “What Little I Think I Know About Teaching,” Booth includes some books that influenced him as a teacher. I hadn’t heard of most of them, hadn’t read ANY of them, and found out (happily) that our library had at least half of them.

Sylvia Ashton-Warner. Teacher (1963)

Jacques Barzun. Teacher in America (1945)

John Erskine. My Life as a Teacher (1948)

Gilbert Highet. The Art of Teaching (1950)

R.K. Narayan. The English Teacher (1945)

John Passmore. The Philosophy of Teaching (1980)

As I look through these, I’ll be posting notes…

A Teaching Reading List

5 Books I Want to Read After Reading Alan Jacobs’s A Theology of Reading

Alan Jacobs’s book A Theology of Reading is articulating a lot of things I’ve felt but haven’t taken the time to either think through thoroughly or find theoretical justification for. Here are some of the authors (and books) Jacobs uses liberally and which his book has made me, in turn, want to pick up.


  1. De Doctrina Christiana – St. Augustine
  2. Art and Answerability: Early Philosophical Essays – Mikhail Bakhtin
  3. The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays – WH Auden
  4. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason – John Milbank
  5. Real Presences – George Steiner
5 Books I Want to Read After Reading Alan Jacobs’s A Theology of Reading

Why Literature Matters: A Reading List

Why read literature?

Why write about literature?

Why read or write about literature from a Christian perspective?

Why does literature matter?

Why Literature

These are questions lurking behind a lot of my teaching and reading and writing and thinking.

Apparently I’m not alone.  The members of the Christianity and Literature listserve are thinking about them too. A recent listserve discussion revolved around books and articles that offer the best extended engagements with these questions. So if you too are interested in these questions, here’s a reading list to get you started…

Continue reading “Why Literature Matters: A Reading List”

Why Literature Matters: A Reading List

Interdisciplinary Reading List

While we faculty members were milling around before our May graduation, I asked faculty members outside my department to recommend books for non-experts that would make good summer reads. Here are the books (with the recommended source department in parentheses) that I received.

1. A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and American in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan (History)

2. Genesis Unbound: A Provocative New Look at the Creation Account by John Sailhammer (Chemistry)

3. The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armand Nicholi (Psychology)

4. I Know This Much Is True: A Novel by Wally Lamb (Psychology)

5. The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards (Christian Studies)

6. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney (Christian Studies)

7. The Supreme Court by William Rehnquist (Political Science)

8. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (Business)

9. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt (Business)

10. Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (Art)

Interdisciplinary Reading List