Irish priest to give lecture, 'Is There a Case for Poetry?' Sept. 19

Irish priest to give lecture, ‘Is There a Case for Poetry?’ Sept. 19

 “To live a human life we need not only sober reason, we need the play of the imagination.” So writes the Rev. Paul Murray, O.P., a Catholic priest from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who is the third annual Joseph and Edith Habiger Artist-in-Residence at the University of St. Thomas.

Murray will give a lecture, “Is There a Case for Poetry?” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Murray will ponder whether a university environment is the “natural place” to appreciate poetry: “How is it,” he asks, “that a poem, even a modest poem, can communicate a magic which no academic lecture, however profound, can ever give us? Are poets and scholars natural enemies?”

Murray, a professor of spiritual theology and the literature of the Christian spiritual tradition at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, is the author of three collections of poetry: Ritual Poems (Dublin: New Writers Press, 1971); Rites and Meditations (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1982), and The Absent Fountain (Dublin: Dedalus Press, 1991). His other books include The Mysticism Debate (Chicago, Herald Press, 1977), T.S. Eliot and Mysticism (Macmillan, 1991), and A Journey With Jonah: The Spirituality of Bewilderment (Dublin, Columba Press, 2002).

He has a doctorate from University College, Dublin, and has lectured widely in Ireland, South Africa, India, Lebanon, England and the United States.

Murray’s lecture is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies. For more information call (651) 962-5700.