Brett Foster on Christian Humanism and the Virtues of Poetry

As part of our lecture series this past spring, TWU hosted Brett Foster, Associate Professor of English at Wheaton College and a specialist in Renaissance literature. His lecture, “Fiery Tongues and Minds Afire,” explored the significance of Christian humanism as an intentional cultural development which led to some of the most remarkable poetry in the Western tradition. Dr. Foster’s work proved to be a wonderful addition to one of the main themes of the overall lecture series: namely, that Renaissance humanism–far from being an arrogant declaration of independence from God–should be understood as a vibrant celebration of the very roots of the Christian intellectual tradition.

In our interview with Dr. Foster, we asked about what it means to study and write poetry in a contemporary educational climate that often finds such things difficult to justify in themselves. His articulate answers reminded us not only of the practical rigor of advanced comprehension that must result from a close reading of classic poetry, but also the perennial nature of poetry as a form of human expression across entire ages. As an accomplished poet himself, Dr. Foster’s unique perspective is a fresh one for those interested in humanist approaches to education.

See Aaron’s interview video below for more!

Brett knows Renaissance Poetry too!  See him talk about why it’s important to study

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