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St. Freddie of Rupert

By January 16, 2013 No Comments
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We’re in the middle of our January interim term here at Calvin College, an intensive three week session when students typically take just one course.  And intensive is indeed the word for it: between teaching all morning, prepping for the next day’s class all afternoon (plus the usual collection of meetings and obligations), and also trying to prepare for our spring semester that starts just days after interim’s completion, it’s quite the pace. We started on January 3rd, so there’s been no real time for reflection in this new year.  And certainly nothing worthy of writing about on this blog.

That said, one of the aspects of belonging to this blogging team that really appeals to me is all the things to which my fellow writers introduce me.

So, let me reciprocate.  It’s the least I can do in exchange for a short post. 

Frederick Buechner, who I’ve heard referred to as St. Freddie of Rupert, has been an important writer for so many people that I thought folks might be interested in knowing about the flurry of work that has been going on around him and his writing.

First, there’s the Buechner Institute at King College.  Launched in 2008 to honor the life, work, and example of Buechner, the Institute hosts a year-long lecture series that explores the interplay between culture and faith.  Once a year, too, the Institute hosts the Buechner lectureship.  Buechner kicked the whole thing off six years ago, and last year was Marilynne Robinson.  Next week, The 12’s own Jeff Munroe will be on-hand to interview Kathleen Norris, this year’s lecturer.  

Jeff and I also both get to serve on the National Advisory board, (along with people far more renowed than we are), and so this summer, we’ll be participating in the 2nd Annual Buechnerfest, a retreat devoted to all things Fred.  Registration is open now, so do have a look if you’re in the mood for a mindful vacation. 

The other big news in Buechnerland is the pre-release website recently unveiled by the Buechner Center.     Established to “share the works of Christian author Frederick Buechner with communities around the world,” the site is a treasure trove of previously unavailable or uncollected audio and video files.  The site also features much more: compelling quotes and frequent themes, bibliographies, reflections from other writers, and resources for all kinds of people—from pastors to seekers.  And this already rich collection is still under-development and open for user input.  It’s worth a visit.



Jennifer L. Holberg

I’ve taught English at Calvin College since 1998–where I get to read books and talk about them for a living. What could be better? Along with my wonderful colleague, Jane Zwart, I am the co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, which is the home of the Festival of Faith and Writing as well as a number of other exciting endeavors. Given my interest in teaching, I’m the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture (and yes, I realize that that is a very long subtitle). I also do various administrative things across campus. As an Army brat, I’ve never lived anywhere as long as I’ve now lived in Grand Rapids. I count myself rich in friends and family. I enjoy kayaking and hiking. I collect cookbooks (and also like to cook), listen to all kinds of music, and watch all manner of movies and tv shows. I love George Eliot, Jane Austen, Marilynne Robinson, Dante, E.M. Delafield, Tennyson, Hopkins, and Charlotte Bronte (among others). And I have a bumper sticker on my car that says: “I’d rather be reading Flannery O’Connor.” Which is true.

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