Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 15
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Laurence K. “Larry” Packard
Come join the hunt for God’s footprints left in the characters of great literature. We will embark into a survey of renowned novels to look for places where God leaves clues in critical choices and turning points for the hero. Why is it that Jean Valjean in Les Miserables can turn himself in to the law? How is it that Gandalf in Tolkien’s trilogy sacrifices himself to the Balrog, or Frodo the meek takes on the mighty of Mordor? Ride with Graham Green’s Whiskey Priest in The Power and the Glory as he gets to the border and final safety, yet heads his donkey south into a military state and certain death. Listen to Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor relentlessly question the Jesus figure, and watch for the response that says everything without words. Walk the trial of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and watch his own personal trial. A. J. Cronin’s characters in The Citadel and The Keys of the Kingdom are unforgettable witnesses to a world long gone, yet true characters of hope never lost. A list of reference materials will be provided before each class.
The Rev. Dr. Laurence K. “Larry” Packard is a newly retired Episcopal priest who labors to raise questions from many disciplines without pushing religious answers. His lively teaching style, with multiple media, comes from being a student who learns and discovers with the class. He still hunts the divine fox! Packard graduated from Wake Forest University and Virginia Theological Seminary before receiving his doctorate from Princeton.