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Keynote Speaker

James K.A. Smith


Each Glen Workshop has a theme that creates a throughline for the week. It’s an opportunity for focused reflection and creative expression that can be engaged in myriad ways by faculty and students alike during our time together. The theme for the 2019 Glen Workshop is As Iron Sharpens Iron: The Perils and Promise of Friendship. And James KA Smith, Image’s editor in chief, will be taking up this theme in a keynote address on Monday night at the Glen.

Friendship between artists can be a fraught affair. We encourage each other. We also compare. We stew. We goad each other on. We fall out and make up, or not. We inspire each other. We let each other down. At our best, we make each other better. At our best, we live out our faith’s ideal that believers are part of the same body, that we are to seek peace, to humble ourselves and be reconciled, to build each other up in love. Jamie will engage the challenges of artistic friendship, not just the good time but the struggles—and the possibilities for reconciliation.

In addition to being the newly appointed editor in chief of Image, Jamie is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College and the author of award winning books including Imagining the Kingdom, You Are What You Love, and How (Not) to be Secular. And as he said in a recent America profile, he thinks that the “practices of friendship are my kind of Benedict option.”

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