The encounter that most decisively shaped my teaching occurred during my very first year in the classroom. I was fresh out of graduate study at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the lines of my life, as the psalmist says, had fallen in pleasant places. It was a lovely spring afternoon in 1972, when the North Carolina azaleas and dogwoods were in glorious blossom, and the late April breeze was wafting into my office past the maple tree outside my open window. All seemed indeed right with the world.
The knock at my door came from one of my students in an introductory class called “Theology and Modern Literature.” He asked if he could bring his girlfriend in with him, and I welcomed them both.