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Podcast Features

Listen to the dialogue between author, scholar, and professor, Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, and other professors, theologians, priests, Russian Novel enthusiasts, and Flannery O’Connor connoisseurs as they host her on their podcast!

It’s been one year since the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. What have we learned, who has benefitted politically, and has it really reduced the abortion rate? Do television shows that focus on individual heroes and violent solutions to problems cultivate authoritarian beliefs? A new study finds a link between how much TV a person watches and how they vote. A spokesperson from Liberty University says that in order to control the education of their kids, Christians can learn from Stalin, Hitler, and Mao—oh my! Kaitlyn interviews Jessica Hooten Wilson about the power of literature and reading in our spiritual formation, and why it’s particularly challenging for evangelicals. Plus, Christian rummages through the attics of strangers in Germany, and all hail our new canine robot overlord—the Thermonator!

My conversation today is a return conversation with one of my favorite writers and scholars working in the areas of theology and literature. Jessica Hooten Wilson has just recently been named as the Seaver College Scholar of Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University. She is an expert on classical education and hosts a podcast called The Scandal of Reading: Pursuing Holy Wisdom with Christ and Pop Culture. She has authored several award-winning books. Our conversation centers on her new book, “Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice” (Brazos Press).

Jessica and I recorded this conversation a few weeks ago when she was just a few days from giving birth to her fourth child. Since then, her new little girl has arrived. So, there are lots of transitions going on in her life right now. I was thankful to get a chance in the midst of everything going on in her life and mine to talk about our mutual love for God and for great books.

What can good literature teach us? Can it show us how to be holy? Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson thinks so. In this episode we’re talking about how literary “saints” can show us what holiness looks like and how scandalous holiness appears to a world that can’t comprehend it.

We’ve been bigs fans of Jessica for ages. Haley knew her at Baylor and Jessica is the protege of Haley’s favorite professor of all time: Dr. Ralph Wood. She is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas and the author of several books, including her latest The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints. She’s also a wife, mom, and highly sought-after speaker. There’s no one who’s more fun to talk books with!

In this conversation we get to chat about some of our favorite novels, discovering new books, and the power of story. We have a great time with this episode so grab a good cup of coffee and enjoy the conversation!

Mars Hill Audio

Friday Feature

April 4, 2022

Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson takes us on a deep dive into the power of great literature to form us spiritually. We focus our conversation on her new book The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints (Brazos Press).

Clearly, Jessica is a gifted scholar, and a thoughtful and reflective Christian. I was very excited to get a chance to meet her and talk to her, in part, because I’m really interested in her new book exploring the theme of holiness and imagination in literature. But those of you who know me know I’m a little bit of a literature geek. And so, I was excited to get a chance to talk to her about the many connections between literature and faith, and why it’s important for both Christian students, and Christian believers of all ages, to be good readers and to be wrestling with the best of literature and poetry.

This episode features Jessica Wilson’s talk at the 2021 Higher Ed Summit.  Jessica Wilson is a professor, author, and speaker. She is also a Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas in the Classical Education and Humanities Graduate Program.

With the tragic death of British Catholic politician Sir David Amess, Dr. Grazie Christie goes across the pond to get the latest in London with TV host and author Kevin Turley. Turley also offers insights into the recent conversion of prominent former Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. TCA colleague Leigh Snead joins Grazie as we also welcome author and Professor Jessica Hooten Wilson calling us to renew our “Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints.” Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel.