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A Different Kind of Theology: Fiction, Imagination, and New Realities with Bryan Bliss

On Tuesday, October, 12th, 2021, novelist and current UTS student, Bryan Bliss spoke to the Arts Lunch about fiction and its power to heal and transform.

"Fiction has always had a theological bent. On a basic level, fiction introduces us to new realities. For the writer and the reader, it helps us to see the world differently—to imagine a different world. When we are asked to read fiction theologically, we engage the text in a new way—one that asks us to confront theological biases, to adapt our dogma to these new realities in a way that might push us outside of traditional or orthodox religious beliefs. The result is more than just good literature: it’s the opportunity for transformation."

Bryan Bliss is the author of four novels, including We’ll Fly Away, which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award and was a Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. His next book, Bad Things, Good People, and God, will be released in January. He holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University, an M.T.S. from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He lives in St. Paul with his family.

 

Dr. Jennifer Awes Freeman

Jennifer Awes Freeman is Assistant Professor and Program Director of Theology and the Arts at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

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