Lords of the Earth? Browning Day Lecture Explores Eco-Theological Vision of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

March 30, 2021
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On Friday, April 16, at 3:30 p.m. Dr. Joshua King, associate professor of English and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies, will virtually present the 2021 Browning Day lecture, "Lords of the Earth? Elizabeth Barrett Browning on Christ's Body in the Age of Human Domination."

King's lecture will ask how in her poetry Elizabeth Barrett Browning struggled to come to terms with the world-altering impact of the Industrial Revolution, and how she envisioned a place for the Body of Christ - those participating in the work of God on earth and in the world emerging. The lecture is free and available to the public.

"The changing Victorian world of Elizabeth Barrett Browning anticipated our own era, the Anthropocene, when human ambition and power now influence every inch of the planet and all the processes of life," said King. "She witnessed, and experienced in her own body, the beginnings of this era through a coal-driven global economy that was altering the very atmosphere she breathed, transforming the landscapes through which she traveled by steam power, and subjecting masses of her fellow citizens to inhumane labor."

King's Browning Day presentation adds to recent lectures and conferences that explore the intersection of literature, ecology and religion in the nineteenth century. His collective work will culminate in an upcoming publication tentatively titled The Body of Christ, The Body of the Earth: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, Ecology, and Christology.

This year's Browning Day celebration will be available via Zoom using the link that will be posted to baylor.edu/library/browningday the day before the event. To request a reminder email that includes the Zoom link, visit baylor.edu/library/browningday and select the "Request Zoom Credentials" option.

"Browning Day celebrates the lives and works of poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the two literary figures at the heart of our collections," said Armstrong Browning Library and Museum director Jennifer Borderud. "I look forward to Dr. King’s lecture this year as he will be drawing attention to concerns over the treatment of our planet addressed by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her poetry, concerns that remain relevant today."

For more information about Armstrong Browning Library and Museum's 2021 Browning Day lecture, visit baylor.edu/library/browningday, email Christi_Klempnauer@baylor.edu, or call (254) 710-4968.