Flannery O’Connor and the Church’s Failure of Imagination (Engage the Speaker AU2021)

Engage the Speaker Session for “Flannery O’Connor and the Church’s Failure of Imagination” (AU2021). Original Lecture description below.

Over the past several years, I consistently read about “diseased cultural imagination” or “failure of imagination” in areas of our public and private life: we do not imagine things as they are but our cultural lenses distort reality. O’Connor offers an uncomfortable corrective in her fiction. In her stories, O’Connor shatters the false vision of ourselves as autonomous authorities, of our telos as worker bees in a hive, and of our communities as a hierarchy of class and race.