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Karen Swallow Prior

“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.” — Flannery O’Connor, 1953 — Karen Swallow Prior, Ph. D., is Research Professor of English and Christianity and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the author of several books, including On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books (Brazos 2018). Her writing has appeared at Christianity Today, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, First Things and Vox, among others. She and her husband live on a 100-year old homestead in central Virginia with sundry horses, dogs and chickens. And lots of books.

All Stories by Karen Swallow Prior

Don’t believe in systemic racism? Let’s talk about the sexual revolution.

By Karen Swallow Prior — July 12, 2021
(RNS) — One need not embrace critical race theory to recognize that systemic racism exists.

The social-media-examined life is not the one that sustains us

By Karen Swallow Prior — June 10, 2021
(RNS) — The public life is not what feeds the desires of the heart.

The evangelical sexual abuse crisis is the spiritual warfare of our time

By Karen Swallow Prior — May 4, 2021
(RNS) — My accident taught me what happens to victims of abuse and how trauma works.

Beth Moore left the SBC after the SBC left women to fend for themselves

By Karen Swallow Prior — April 5, 2021
(RNS) — The strongest objections of her critics seem to be fruits of their own sowing.

Shame, grace and #STOPtheSTEAL

By Karen Swallow Prior — March 3, 2021
(RNS) — How we read the world depends on the kinds of stories we traffic in.

Still Baptist. Still evangelical.

By Karen Swallow Prior — February 9, 2021
(RNS) — My childhood church has come to mind a lot lately, perhaps because these days in church life have so dismayed and disoriented me.

‘AKA Jane Roe’ and the humiliation of the pro-life movement

By Karen Swallow Prior — May 26, 2020
(RNS) — The FX documentary about the Roe v. Wade case is another humiliation of pro-lifers in the media. But humility is what it takes to be truly in favor of the protection of the unborn child.

Six books to get you through a coronavirus shutdown

By Karen Swallow Prior — March 13, 2020
(RNS) — These classic and contemporary novels might offer helpful perspective on the state we find ourselves in — and are also terrific reads.

Why listening matters. Even if you think the other side is wrong.

By Karen Swallow Prior — July 9, 2019
(RNS) — Within an increasingly secular culture, the task for Christians is becoming, more and more, discerning not only how to engage the culture outside the church, but engaging each other within.
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