The Poetics (and Politics) of Empathy
The creation poem that begins the book of Genesis culminates with humans' being formed "in God's image" (imago dei). This two-part series will utilize the lens of poetry to explore the meaningful connection between our being made in God's image and being endowed with imagination.
The imagination is not simply a means of creativity, but our capacity for hope and empathy. Through close readings of traditional and contemporary poems, we will experience the ways in which poetry can help us divest ourselves of our privileged perceptions of how we see the world, in order to appreciate the reality and stories of another.
"Every poem is a love poem. Every poem is a political poem," writes Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, "Every love poem is political. Every political poem must fall in love." This course will engage questions of ethics and social justice, and center the voices of non-White poets. Our ultimate goal will be, through the practice of reading poems attentively, to learn to see the world, and one another, with the eye of imagination / imago dei — so that we might love the world we see more deeply, and put that love in action.
Rev. Travis Helms, PhD
Sept 17 & 24 (Th)
$50 (Pre-registration required)
Presented Virtually via Zoom
The Rev. Travis Helms, PhD, is Campus Missioner to the University of Texas + other Austin area colleges and universities. He received his PhD in Divinity from Cambridge University in 2017, with a focus on theological elements in the work of four American poets (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens and Hart Crane). He also directs LOGOS Poetry Collective, a “poetry church” missional community that congregates in East Austin, and currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Sept 17 & 24 (Th)
Zoom Video Conferencing
3708 Crawford St
Austin, TX 78731
Rev. Travis Helms