On December 3, 2020, I gave a presentation and facilitated a community learning session over Zoom entitled “Faith and Doubt in Literature.” The session was part of an Advent educational series spearheaded by St. Joseph’s Parish in Ottawa, Canada. We explored how British poet Philip Larkin, American author Flannery O’Connor and Canadian poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen grappled with the transcendental in their literary works. Specifically, we analysed the following works:
- Philip Larkin: “Church Going”
- Flannery O’Connor: “Revelation”
- Leonard Cohen: “Suzanne”
The goal was to contextualize each work and author/poet, and then discuss how their writing navigates questions of faith and doubt. The Zoom session, which included 50 participants, was recorded and co-hosted by John Rietschlin. The YouTube video recording is available here.