SPIRITUAL WRITING AND
THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH
a creative nonfiction workshop with Kaya Oakes
Nonfiction writing, in whatever form it is published, is essentially the opening up of truths. Combine it with spirituality and religion and we have one of the most vital and necessary genres of creative writing being done today, and also one with deep historical roots in the writing of St. Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day, and many others.
“Spiritual writing” is a term that seems like it might mean anything. But for the purposes of this workshop, our focus will be on nonfiction writing about the movement of the spirit, however we personally define that term. And “nonfiction writing,” too, can seem to describe anything from blogs, to personal essays and memoir, to preaching narratives, to reporting and journalism, to storytelling, talks and podcasts. It is all of those things, and more.
We’ll explore the question of what spiritual writing means mostly through talking about your work and what you hope to accomplish with it. Some of the ideas we’ll also examine will involve discussing what it means write about faith and belief in the world today, what it means to do public theology, and how to with questions of faith, doubt and everything in between in essays, talks, and nonfiction books.