Asbury Welcomes Humanities Scholars to Spring Events – Asbury University
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Asbury Welcomes Humanities Scholars to Spring Events

April 19, 2023

Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

During March and April, Asbury University hosted two academics whose research interests surround biblical literacy in relation to tradition and culture: Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson and Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Wilson spoke at the annual SEARCH Symposium, and Prior spoke at the Honors Program Colloquium Speaker Series. Both authors shared about their upcoming books, namely Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice (Wilson) and The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images & Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis (Prior).

Wilson serves as the inaugural Seaver College Scholar of Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University, and Prior most recently served as the Research Professor of English and Christianity and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Wilson shared about her book which conveys ways in which Christians can grow in their faith journeys.

Reading for the Love of God considers how we might read as a spiritual practice, drawing on the instruction of the Christian tradition, from teachers such as Augustine, Julian of Norwich and C.S. Lewis,” Wilson said. “If you want to know how to read for the love of God (and not merely for utility or for class assignments!), this is the book to show you how.”

Prior shared about her book which examines evangelical history and includes color illustrations, images, and paintings.

“Evangelicals have had a huge influence over the past few years,” Prior said. “I think The Evangelical Imagination offers insight to a variety of people, including evangelicals and Christians working in the secular world.”  

In a culture articulating relative truth, Wilson articulated the importance of integrating faith with one’s education, career, and calling.

“Higher education should look different in a Christian university than outside of it,” Wilson said. “Every single vocation should not merely integrate faith with the major, but we should all work as unto the Lord in everything we do.”

Dr. Karen Swallow Prior

Prior articulated the significant role language plays in daily life.

“Words, language, and literature are connected to real life: the ways that we think, communicate, and live,” Prior said. “Literature teaches us how to think better and live better, how to ask better questions, and how to live more faithfully.”

The annual SEARCH symposium and competition celebrates great ideas in art and research through conversation across the liberal arts. It is an occasion for students and faculty of every major and level of experience to come together for learning and discovery. Learn more:

The Asbury University Honors Program invites students to join a community of scholars engaged in a themed enrichment experience which gives focus to the concept of human value and dignity, and the virtuous life. This intellectual and moral exploration is anchored within the rich perspective of historic, orthodox Christianity. Learn more: