Service Schedule

Between Stories and Beliefs: The Complicated Partnership of Religion and Literature

Guest Speaker: Dr. Claire Sufrin, Visiting Professor, Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University

In this talk, Dr. Sufrin will suggest different ways of thinking about the relationship between religion and literature.  We will begin by considering the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22 as an example of how religions use literature to convey their messages.  Dr. Sufrin will then discuss ways in which literary writers can illustrate what it means to lead a religious life, with a particular focus on the novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, an American novelist and essayist who has received several awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Humanities Medal.

Dr. Sufrin is a scholar of religion, focusing on modern Jewish thought and theology, particularly modern interpretation of the Bible, the intersection of religion and literature, and gender and religion.  She has published articles in a variety of journals and edited volumes and presents regularly at academic conferences.  She has taught previously at Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the University of Notre Dame, and Northeastern University in Boston.  She also teaches regularly for the Alumnae of Northwestern University Continuing Education Program and as a scholar-in-residence at synagogues and other institutions.  Dr. Sufrin holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University.  She lives with her husband and two sons in Evanston.