CC 300 FX - Theology of the Lost and Found in Fiction

3 Credits
Professor Niedner
MW 3:35-4:45 pm
Cross-listed with ENGL 390 BX and THEO 490X.
Fulfills upper level theology requirement.

Some of humanity’s most enduring tales tell of lost souls being found—or not—usually in a surprising way. Think, for example, of the Bible’s lost lad Joseph, who turns up in an astonishing place. Jesus described God as the original searcher, never resting ‘til every lost sheep is found. Students in this course will examine eight to ten pieces of relatively modern fiction that take readers on journeys through the world’s—and God’s—Lost and Found.

This course is reading intensive. In addition to reading an average of about 160 pages per week throughout the semester, students will serve on small teams that rotate as class discussion provocateurs. Students will write occasional, brief, reflective pieces about texts under discussion. They will write one mid-length, formal paper on a topic of their own development. The only exam will be the final examination.

Tentative course reading list (an item or two may yet be dropped or added):
The Bible
Short stories by Andre Dubus, Scott Sanders and Richard Russo
Larry Brown, Dirty Work
Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
Alice McDermott, Charming Billy
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
Ann Patchett, The Patron Saint of Liars
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping