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Linda Gregerson

Milton and the Syntax of Faith

Lecture | January 25 | 5-7 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 220 Geballe Room


Linda Gregerson, Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, Katharine Bixby Hotchkis Chair in English, James D. Hart Chair in English


In Book 11 of the Confessions, Augustine attempts to contemplate the mystery of time and, in particular, the temporal embeddedness that makes human beings particularly unqualified to comprehend eternity. In this lecture, I will be tracing the same double imperative in the poetry of John Milton: apprehension in and of time while in the hope and before the judgment of eternity. In particular, I will be looking at the figurative and formal means by which Milton evokes the prior-and-yet-to-come that is at the heart of the world system to which he subscribes: to the mysterious overlay of time and timelessness that allows divine foreknowledge and free will among humans to co-exist in a non-contradictory relationship.

Note: Gregerson will also be offering a poetry reading at 2pm in 300 Wheeler Hall on the 25th.

A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Linda Gregerson is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where she teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature and directs the Helen Zell Writers Program. She is the author of six books of poetry and two books of criticism, and the co-editor of one collection of scholarly essays.

In 2014, Gregerson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This event is co-sponsored by the Katharine Bixby Hotchkis Chair in English and the James D. Hart Chair in English.

The Berkeley Seminars in Art and Religion invite distinguished artists and scholars to share their creative and critical work on the connection between artistic expression and religious thought and practice with UC Berkeley students, faculty, and the wider Bay Area community.


Faculty, General Public, Students - Graduate, Students - Undergraduate

All Audiences


info.bcsr@berkeley.edu, 510-642-1328