Feasting with favorite writers

The Century asked writers and teachers, Which three authors—living or dead—would you invite over for dinner?
May 2, 2017
outdoor dinner party

Emily Dickinson and Søren Kierkegaard joke about considering the lilies​, by Kathleen Norris: Oscar Wilde shared with Dickinson and Kierkegaard a deep love of scripture and a talent for playing with it.

Dorothy Sayers, Charles Williams, and W. H. Auden discuss their unconventional love lives​, by Charles Hefling: How do lovers in the "world of the flesh" negotiate other commitments and values?

A Deuteronomist redactor meets a recorder of Islamic texts, by Debbie Blue: I hope they'd have ideas for how the Abrahamic cousins might graciously proceed together.

American historians on grit, revolutions, and the topsy-turviness of our era, by Cleophus LaRue Jr.: A master storyteller, David Halberstam had an innate sense of Americans' drive and ambition.

Gregory Ellison II, Michelle Alexander, and Matthew Desmond share a red vinyl booth, by Barbara Brown Taylor: I plan not to say a word all night long. I just want to listen.

Lincoln, Luther, and the prophet Jeremiah lament our pathos-filled world, by Walter Brueggemann: A confident truth-teller, Jeremiah was also a tortured person who tormented God even as God tormented him.

Ida B. Wells, James Baldwin, and Octavia Butler imagine a new future, by Brittney Cooper: None of them minced words about Christian complicity in white supremacy and black suffering.

Wisdom from Augustine, Calvin, and Bonhoeffer on theological education, by Justo González: How did your early life and studies prepare you for ministry, and what advice would you have for those who train ministers today?

Anne Lamott, Ernest Hemingway, and a Gospel writer commiserate about revelation and disclosure, by Karoline Lewis: I would ask each of them how they negotiate the excruciating vulnerability of writing.

Marcella Althaus-Reid recounts her dreams from the afterlife, by Mark Jordan: I would call up friends I've lost and ask them what they're writing now.

Dostoevsky and Flannery O'Connor help Marcel Proust edit his long sentences, by William Willimon: Fyodor and Flannery are blessed with excessive God-hauntedness, even if they don't know it.