A Weekend with Alan Jacobs


On March 2 and 3, 2019 at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, the author and cultural critic Alan Jacobs will offer a series of talks about his new book, The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis.

By early 1943, it had become increasingly clear that the Allies would win the Second World War. Around the same time, it also became increasingly clear to many Christian intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic that the soon-to-be-victorious nations were not culturally or morally prepared for their success. A war won by technological superiority merely laid the groundwork for a post-war society governed by technocrats. These Christian intellectuals--Jacques Maritain, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, and Simone Weil, among others--sought both to articulate a sober and reflective critique of their own culture and to outline a plan for the moral and spiritual regeneration of their countries in the post-war world.

In his new book, Alan Jacobs explores the work of these five central figures, in which they presented, with great imaginative energy and force, pictures of the very different paths now set before the Western democracies. Working mostly separately and in ignorance of one another's ideas, the five developed a strikingly consistent argument that the only means by which democratic societies could be prepared for their world-wide economic and political dominance was through a renewal of education that was grounded in a Christian understanding of the power and limitations of human beings. In The Year of Our Lord 1943 Jacobs weaves together the ideas of these five intellectuals and shows why, in a time of unprecedented total war, they all thought it vital to restore Christianity to a leading role in the renewal of the Western democracies.

On Saturday, March 2, Dr. Jacobs will offer two talks beginning at 10:00: “The Formation of Persons” and “Culture Catechizes.” He will offer a third talk, “Life Under Technocracy,” at 10:30 on Sunday, March 3. 

Registration for the Saturday sessions is requested. Click here to register. The $15 fee includes lunch on Saturday. Registration is free for full time students.

Alan Jacobs is a scholar of English literature, writer, and, literary critic. He is a distinguished professor of the humanities in the Honors Program of Baylor University. He has written for publications including The Atlantic, First Things, The New Atlantis, The American Conservative, and The New Yorker and has authored numerous books, including How to Think: A Survival Guide for a Word at Odds, “The Book of Common Prayer”: A Biography, Original Sin: A Cultural History, and most recently, The Year of our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis.

Last Published: February 21, 2019 2:26 PM