Beth Dodd, Programme Leader for Postgraduate Common Awards at Sarum College will be launching her new book, Boundless Innocence in Thomas Traherne’s Poetic Theology on Friday 9 October at 4.30pm.
Free entry, tea and cake, all welcome.
The seventeenth-century poet and divine Thomas Traherne finds innocence in every stage of existence. He finds it in the chaos at the origins of creation as well as in the blessed order of Eden. He finds it in the activities of grace and the hope of glory, but also in the trials of misery and even in the abyss of the Fall. Boundless Innocence in Thomas Traherne’s Poetic Theology traces innocence through Traherne’s works as it transgresses the boundaries of the estates of the soul. Using grammatical and literary categories it explores various aspects of his poetic theology of innocence, uncovering the boundless desire which is embodied in the yearning cry: ‘Were all Men Wise and Innocent…’
Recovering and reinterpreting a key but increasingly neglected theme in Traherne’s poetic theology, this book addresses fundamental misconceptions of the meaning of innocence in his work. Through a contextual and theological approach, it indicates the unexplored richness, complexity and diversity of this theme in the history of literature and theology.
Beth Dodd is Programme Leader for Postgraduate Common Awards at Sarum College and teaches on the MA in Theology, Imagination and the Arts. She has been an academic tutor for ministry training through STETS and Sarum College since 2012, after completing her PhD on Thomas Traherne at Cambridge University. Her main research interests are in literature and theology, particularly seventeenth-century metaphysical poetry and the theme of innocence in Christian literature. She also has an interest in theological aesthetics, in particular the uses of genre theory and the role of the lyric voice in theology.