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Karen Swallow Prior On Reading Well (& Why Virtue is Tricky for Women)


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Literature is like a boxing ring of ideas where we can try out and test ideas.

Today on the Betwixt Podcast, Dr. Karen Swallow Prior talks about her newest book On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature. Her book walks readers through twelves literary works that show us how to live virtuously.

We also discuss the virtue (or vice) of angry reading, Prior’s combat boots and why virtue is so tricky for women.

"The latin root word for virtue is the same root word for man. So virtue literally meant manliness."

When it comes to women’s issues, Prior notices a binary trap. You’re either conservative or progressive. Or you are either egalitarian or complementarian.

“It’s a binary based on opposition, conflict, disagreement and denouncement.”

What it might look like for women to defy labels and come together in unity, support and affirmation?

Karen Swallow Prior is Professor of English at Liberty University. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me, Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist, and her latest book On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature. She lives in Virginia with her husband Roy and sundry horses, dogs and chickens.

Special Bonus

Mandy Smith joins the conversation to talk about a powerful moment at the Women’s Luncheon during the Missio Alliance Awakenings Gathering. Through that story, we explore how God is calling women to live and lead virtuously for the sake of the Church and the world.

Listen to the Bonus Behind the Scenes conversation with Mandy:

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Other Episodes You Will Love:

4 Are Women Rational? Let's Ask Google (Image of God & The Feminine Experience P 3)

21 Ordinary Saints: Bruce Herman on the Dangerous Space Between Icon and Portrait (The Art of Paradox Part 2)

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Thanks to these musicians for making their work available for use:

Ryvoli: Roots

Borrtex: A Quick Coffee, Realization

Bexter Britain: Transpire

Kai Engel: Soli, Siren’s Tale, Modum

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