Worldly Wisdom: “Good Country People” and the Northern Intellectual Establishment

Theology on Tap continues next week!

Join us on Monday, March 17th at 7 PM for the second part of our series, “The Existential Art of Flannery O’Connor: A Three-Part Series,” by Adam Rutledge at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill at 384 Boylston Street with the presentation beginning at 7:30 PM.

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock – to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the blind you draw large and startling figures.” – O’Connor, Mystery and Manners

Flannery OConnor

What does it mean to be a Christian writer in the modern age? An age in which many believe they have moved beyond faith, beyond the need for metaphysical truth claims, beyond the need for God? Through close readings of several of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, including A Good Man is Hard to FindParker’s Back, and Revelation, this series will explore the answer to that question as given by one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic and engaging writers.

 Monday, March 17 – Week Two
Worldly Wisdom:  “Good Country People” and the Northern Intellectual Establishment

Part 2 of the series will examine O’Connor’s Christianity and Southern regionalism as seen through her disagreements with the secular Northern literary establishment.  In this session, we will take up the short story “Good Country People” as a way to examine her criticism of modern worldly wisdom, associated by O’Connor with Northern intellectual elitism, that considers itself too sophisticated for faith.  We will also use this session as an opportunity to examine O’Connor’s commentary on the Southern settings of her stories and the purpose of place in her aesthetics.  For those wishing to read the story beforehand (16 pages), a professor at the University of Florida has posted “Good Country People” online, and it can be found easily by searching for the title or by following this link:

Adam Rutledge, Treasurer at the Church of the Advent, is finishing a PhD on religious themes in literary modernism in the English Department at Brandeis University, and he has a master’s degree in Religion and Literature from Yale Divinity School.  His interests include Aesthetics, the relationship between Philosophy, Theology, and Literature, Medieval Latin Literature, and the History of the Book.  He currently works in the investment group of a trust firm in Boston’s financial district.

This series then continues on:

  • Tuesday, March 25th

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