West Virginia Wesleyan College will present its second fall installment of the WVWC Faculty Lecture Series on Monday, October 9 at 7 p.m. in the Culpepper Auditorium of the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts (PAC) with Dr. Debra Dean Murphy ’84 presenting “Beauty, Terror, Mystery, Consolation: Poetry and the Aesthetics of Environmentalism.”
The talk will center on aesthetics matter for environmentalism because “aesthetics is, at the heart, about the act of perceiving, or seeing accurately, even as it is also a critical reflection on art and beauty,” said Dr. Murphy. This topic was the subject of research during Dr. Murphy’s sabbatical year from 2016-2017.
“Reading beautiful poems, which may actually be about very harsh and unlovely things, trains the reader to see truthfully herself, others, and the world around her,” continued Dr. Murphy. “Beauty, Mystery, Terror, and Consolation are categories that can provide something of a frame for these counterintuitive claims. In the lecture, each will be defined as a way to illuminate the connection between word and world, and the pressing work of caring for creation.”
Dr. Murphy teaches courses in theology, ethics, liturgy, and church history. She is the author of Happiness, Health, and Beauty: The Christian Life in Everyday Terms (Cascade 2015) and Teaching that Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education (Brazos 2004). Her articles and essays have appeared in Modern Theology, Scottish Journal of Theology, Liturgy, and Cross Currents. Her blog, “Intersections: Thoughts on Religion, Culture, and Politics.” is regularly featured by The Christian Century, Sojourners, and On Being.
Join the Wesleyan community for the WVWC Faculty Lecture Series fall lineup on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the PAC. The series of lectures also include “The Primary that Made a President: JFK and the 1960 West Virginia Primary” with Dr. Robert Rupp, professor of history and political science, on November 13; and “White Lung: The Opioid Crisis in West Virginia” with Travis Zimmerman, assistant professor of criminal justice, on December 11.