"Beauty will save the world." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot
Literature – beautiful writing – depends not just on plot and structure, and not just on the author’s mastery of technique, though these are certainly important. Instead, the beauty of the written word springs from the author’s ability to communicate Truth in a way that clings to the reader’s perception.
11:15 - 12:00 Presentation: "Finding the Golden Key: Recovering the Sacramental Imagination"
Richard W. Rohlin is a software developer, Germanic philologist, and Orthodox Christian living in Texas with his wife and children. His published works on Germanic poetry, the Inklings, and the Sacramental Imagination include The Digital Hervararkviða and a chapter in the recent anthology Amid Weeping There is Joy: Orthodox Perspectives on Tolkien’s Fantastic Realm. He is the co-host of the Amon Sul Podcast from Ancient Faith Radio, which examines the works of J.R.R. Tolkien from an Orthodox Christian perspective. He is also a regular contributor to The Symbolic World YouTube channel and blog, where he discusses and writes about medieval universal history and hagiography.
Richard’s latest project, Finding the Golden Key: Essays Towards a Recovery of the Sacramental Imagination, is being published in collaboration with Eighth Day Press.
3:30 - 4:15 Presentation: "Poetic Catechism – Becoming Orthodox Slowly and Completely"
Joshua Sturgill is an eclectic writer who melds his interests in gardening, astronomy, philosophy and music with his calling to study and create works of literature. He has published three collections of poetry, along with essays on diverse subjects and various pieces of short fiction. Since 2002, he has collaborated with Eighth Day Books in Wichita, Kansas, promoting Orthodox Christian culture through community, education and good reading. Joshua is a graduate of Saint John's College, Santa Fe, with a degree in Far Eastern philosophy. His graduate coursework (M.A. and M.Div.) and ongoing independent studies have led him to conclude that an immersion in poetry and a growing understanding of ancient Christian cosmology are bringing a renewal of interest in Orthodox Christianity to the contemporary West.
Deacon Gregory Farman
4:15 - 4:40 Presentation: "Writing with Your Name Saint"
Gregory Farman is a Deacon at Saints Constantine and Helen Church. He and his wife Priscilla have four grown children and six grandchildren. Retired from a career in magazine publishing, Deacon Gregory decided it would be fun to try writing a historical fiction account of his name saint, Saint Gregory of Sinai. He says this about the result:
“Maybe my book is literature, but more likely it is only an amateur effort to put together a story about a person whose life strikes me as important and interesting. My interest in Gregory of Sinai started in 2005, as I prepared for reception into the Orthodox Church. Many fellow converts were putting a lot of thought into the saint name they would be known by at the Eucharist. My spiritual father told me to remember that, as he put it, “Names are given, not chosen. You already have a Christian name, the name your parents gave you.” He told me to embrace my given name and consider emulating one of the Saints Gregory. That left me with dozens of Saints Gregory to choose from. But Gregory of Sinai seemed ready-made. Like me, he spent time as a young man on Cyprus. Like me, he took pleasure in solitude and contemplation. In time I began to understand that my Saint Gregory prays with me always in the heavenly realms.”