How does the serious artist represent the religious and spiritual dimensions of human experience, especially in a culture suspicious of art that contemplates the divine? Award-winning scholar and poet James Matthew Wilson, Ph.D. (Villanova University) addressed this question and others in his talk, “Art is a Jealous God: Aesthetic Autonomy and the Claims of the Divine," on September 7, 2016 at Hope College.
James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty.
Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published six books, including most recently the major critical study, The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking (Wiseblood, 2015), a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things, and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Wilson also serves on the boards of several learned journals and societies.
Wilson was educated at the University of Michigan (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts (M.A.), and the University of Notre Dame (M.F.A., Ph.D.), where he subsequently held a Sorin Research Fellowship. He joined the faculty of Villanova in 2008.
The event was co-sponsored by the Religion and English departments at Hope College.