Apr 20, 2010

Deal W. Hudson to speak at Alumni Lecture Series

by Emily DeFosse

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Beethoven’s symphonies, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” — works of art come in all forms, whether it is the morning sunrise coming over the mountains or a piece of artwork hanging in a gallery. Beauty is everywhere, but often times Christian communities place more emphasis on tradition and discipline and the appreciation for beauty is lost.

Author and philosopher Deal W. Hudson wrote the book “An American Conversion: One Man’s Search for Truth and Beauty in a Time of Crisis,” in 2003. Hudson will be coming to speak to students, faculty and the public on Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in DeMoss 1090 for the second installment of the English and Modern Languages Department’s Alumni Lecture Series.

“The book is about how (Hudson), as a Southern Baptist, left the Baptist church for the Catholic Church in his search for beauty,” Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages Dr. Karen Prior said. “Having grown up Baptist myself, I’ve often felt the neglect of beauty within my denomination. I would like to see Baptists and all Christians think about beauty and try to understand beauty in biblical terms. I thought that Deal Hudson would be a good speaker to help us, especially those of us who want to remain Baptist, think more about that issue.”

Hudson will take a closer look at beauty and how “a proper understanding of beauty and its place in God’s being and in His creation compels the Christian to cultivate taste and appreciate beauty in all its forms,” according to an announcement from the English Department.

According to Hudson, beauty is part of spiritual life and not at odds with morality.

“If we look around at the world God created, it is obvious that God cares about beauty,” Prior said. “The Bible does say a lot about beauty and I think that the world has distorted it and perverted our sense of beauty. In response, the church needs to cultivate a correct sense of beauty.”

Hudson taught philosophy for 15 years at Fordham University, New York University and Mercer University. He is currently president of Catholic Advocate, InsideCatholic.com and the Morley Publishing Group.

“(The department) is bringing (Hudson) in as an academic speaker to talk about an academic issue,” Prior said in reference to Hudson’s Catholicism. “He is not coming to address students in convocation or to teach students doctrine.”

Contact Emily DeFosse at

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