Professor leads presentation on Catholic literature

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The Department of Catholic Studies presented Catholic Life within a Literature Series for students to connect with different narratives of the church.

Dr. James McGlone, professor of Catholic studies and Professor Emeritus of Communication, led a presentation of the reading for the SHU community.

Dr. McGlone has worked at Seton Hall since 1965, both actively as a professor and within the theater community.

When he retired, he said he realized he missed the classroom and started a class that focused on discussing and critiquing films with important dialogue, which led him to starting the series.

Dr. McGlone has seen the Catholic campus evolve over the years and just as the university changes, so does the livelihood of those who work within religious life.

The latest edition of the series included a reading of Ron Hansen’s “Mariette in Ecstasy,” in Se
ton Hall’s theater-in-the-round.

Read during holy week on campus, the story sets out to explore the life of Mariette, a young woman, who is seeking to be a part of the convent, but undergoes her own struggles.

Dr. McGlone said he began literature series seven years ago with the Servant Leadership program, but now is also sponsored by other groups on campus.

He said his main goal of the series is to expose individuals to important literature that they would have otherwise not heard of and so he focuses especially on pieces that can spark interest within religious dialogue.

“The prose is exquisite,” Dr. McGlone said. “It’s a brilliant novel, but is not well known. I want more people to know this piece of literature. Mariette is a composite figure set in 1906 in a New York convent.”

The novel follows Mariette, a young nun, who enters the convent at a young age and finds her visions for the convent cause trouble as she evolves. The character raises questions surrounding the human mind.

The reading was presented by Dr. McGlone, and was also joined by two Seton Hall theater alumni Emily Yates and Alexandra Yates.

They condense the book into about a one-hour reading as each person can read for multiple characters.

“A lot of this doesn’t get taught in classrooms,” McGlone added. “It is an attempt to get people interested in the books themselves and then hold discussion.”

McGlone recalled presenting “Edge of Sadness,” which many people in the Catholic community may have known about, but forgot about it in their consciousness.

The seminar series varies in topic and time, but McGlone said he intends to spark discussion about these important stories, characters, and topics across campus.

Stephanie Gomulka can be reached at stephanie.gomulka@student.shu. edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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