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Guns, Grit, and Grace: Flannery O’Connor & the Sin of Sentimentality

Monday, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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Our free summer Evening Public Lectures feature a wide range of professors, both guests and Regent regulars. Enjoy delving deep into a pressing issue with a wise guide; then brave the mic to ask your burning question. Better (and cheaper) than a night at the movies. 

Due to closure of the College related to Covid-19, all of our Summer 2020 lectures will be streamed online. 

Lecture Description: Catholic Southern author Flannery O’Connor’s “grotesque” aesthetic is a contrast to the “sentimentality” that she saw in the work of so many artists that came before her. According to O’Connor, the presence of shocking violence in art can be used to remind us of the cost of God’s redeeming grace, whereas the presence of sentimentality in art only works to cheapen our understanding of that grace. In this lecture, we will focus on O’Connor’s theology and aesthetics, along with discussing how her ideas provide a relevant, useful lens through which to discuss contemporary film and literature.

Mary McCampbell is is an associate professor of humanities at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she teaches courses on postmodern theory and fiction, film and philosophy, and popular culture. A native Tennessean, she completed a doctorate in literature at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne focusing on the relationship between contemporary fiction, late capitalist culture, and the religious impulse.

Mary’s primary research has been on the themes of epiphany and apocalypse in the work of Canadian author and artist, Douglas Coupland. She was a Scholar-in-Residence at Regent for the winter term of 2018, where she also spent time working in Coupland’s archives (more than 200 boxes) that are housed in UBC’s special collections.

She has been one of the organizers of Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Music since 2009, and she frequently speaks and teaches on the theological significance of popular music, film, and fiction. Mary was the Summer 2014 Writer-in-Residence at L’Abri Fellowship in Greatham, England and periodically lectures at English L’Abri. 

Dr. McCampbell will be teaching the course The Prophetic Imagination in Popular Culture from July 6–10, 2020 as part of our 2020 Summer Programs.

Please submit questions by emailing [email protected] during the lecture.

Speaking at this Event


Mary McCampbell

Associate Professor of Humanities (Lee University)

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