Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


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Seattle University is host to many events that express the Catholic Jesuit character of the university.

The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture sponsors events that provide a Catholic lens to on-going conversations at the university, conversations that are especially relevant to our local community and our world today.

The institute co-sponsors events with other departments and divisions of the university to create a culture of engagement with the Catholic intellectual and wisdom tradition.

The Catholic Imagination: Co-presented with Image 

Shouts or Whispers?: The Catholic Literary Imagination Then & Now

Please join us May 26, 2016 as we welcome Gregory Wolfe, Editor of Image, to his new role as Senior Fellow in the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, beginning in Academic Year 2016-2017. Building off his prior work as a consultant for the ICTC, Wolfe's position will enable faculty, staff and students to further explore the richness of the Catholic Imagination and the Catholic Literary Tradition.

4:00 PM | Appetizer and wine reception in Student Center 160, LeRoux

4:30 PM | "Shouts or Whispers? The Catholic Literary Imagination Then and Now" by Gregory Wolfe

5:15 PM | Q & A with Wolfe

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"Shouts and Whispers"

Amidst the growing secularism of twentieth century culture, a sudden flowering of world-class Catholic literature took the world by surprise, from British writers like Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh to the Americans Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy to France’s Georges Bernanos and Japan’s Shusaku Endo. 

Looking at the contemporary scene, some critics have argued that there is a dearth of Catholic authors today or that such writers as can be found lack the theological depth of their predecessors.

In his presentation, Gregory Wolfe will beg to differ. As editor of Image journal for the past quarter century, he has had a front row seat on the literary scene. Wolfe believes that the Catholic imagination has persisted, but that it has taken on different forms as the surrounding culture has changed. Whereas Flannery O’Connor believed that the Catholic writer needed to “shout” to be heard, Wolfe contends that contemporary Catholic authors such as Alice McDermott, Oscar Hijuelos, and Mary Gordon prefer to “whisper.” He will illustrate his talk with examples from a number of recent, award-winning books.

Writer, editor, publisher and teacher, Gregory Wolfe founded Image journal in 1989 and since 2000 has served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University where he teaches English literature and creative writing. He is also the founder and director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at SPU, the first program of its kind to integrate a studio writing degree with intensive reflection upon the aesthetic riches of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Wolfe is the author of the recent collection The Operation of Grace and has published over 200 essays, reviews and articles in numerous journals, including the Wall Street Journal and Commonweal.





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