People

Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs was professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois from 1984-2012, and is now Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Baylor University’s Honors College. A regular guest on the Mars Hill Audio Journal, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and his B.A. from the University of Alabama. His professional interests include literary theory and the history of criticism, British Commonwealth literature, and religion and literature. He is the author of numerous books, most recently, The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis and How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds. Jacobs is a popular essayist and columnist and has been published in The American Scholar, Christianity and Literature, Harper'sBooks and Culture, and First Things. Jacobs’s blog Snakes and Ladders investigates themes of art, technology, and culture.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 59

Guests on Volume 59: Ron Hansen, on how novelists discover the themes of their writing; Bernard Lewis, on the history of Islamic resentment toward the West; Alan Jacobs, on Michael Chabon's Summerland and Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord; Adrienne Chaplin, on Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts and on the place and responsibility of Christian artists in their communities; Todd Gitlin, on how the torrent of images and sounds overwhelms our lives; and Quentin Schultze, on practical disciplines to live well in the midst of intrusive communications technology.

MARS HILL AUDIO Book 5

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age by Alan Jacobs

Available for mp3 purchase
Alan Jacobs, literary critic and professor of humanities at Baylor University, has been a regular guest on the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal since 1993, discussing subjects ranging from the problem of literary sentimentalism (as in The Bridges of Madison County), and the delights of historical fiction (as in seafaring narratives of Patrick O'Brian) to the repulsive attraction of the vampire novels of Anne Rice. In his most recent book, A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age, Jacobs displays a similar range of breadth and depth, as well as significant portions of wit and grace. Included are essays on the mystery of true friendship (Friendship and Its Discontents), the severing of theology and literature (Preachers without Poetry), and the desire to know the future (Dowsing in Scripture). Read by the author. 5.5 hours

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 48

Guests on Volume 48: Jon Butler, on the United States as a modern society—in 1776; Gary Cross, on An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America; Zygmunt Bauman, on the loss of permanence and solidity; Pico Iyer, on The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home; Richard Stivers, on sex and violence in media and the rule of technology; Larry Woiwode, on stories and giving form to experience; Alan Jacobs, on Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy; and James Trott, on poetry and piety.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 40

Available for mp3 purchase
Guests on Volume 40: Joseph Epstein, on writing essays and education through magazines; John Gray, on the cultural contradictions of global capitalism; Kenneth R. Craycraft, Jr., on why the First Amendment doesn't really protect Christian liberty; William T. Pizzi, on Trials without Truth: Why Our System of Criminal Trials Has Become an Expensive Failure and What We Need to Do to Rebuild It; Pamela Walker Laird, on how nineteeth-century advertising promoted progress; Albert Borgmann, on how technology disengages us from experiencing reality; Neal Stephenson, on the "eureka" moments with codes and computers; and Alan Jacobs, on why Harry Potter's magic shouldn't trouble Christians.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 29

Guests on Volume 29: Richard John Neuhaus, on the recent judicial usurpation of democracy; John Patrick Diggins, on Max Weber's insights into democracy and leadership; Norman Cantor, on how postmodern culture resembles the baroque period; Alan Jacobs, on William Faulkner as a modernist and a Southerner; Charles Marsh, on the theological depth of the civil rights movement; David Park, on how pre-modern Christians understood light; and Ted Libbey, on Franz Schubert's role in inventing Romanticism.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 26

Guests on Volume 26: James Gilbert, on how science and religion negotiate for public respect; William Everdell, on the meaning and method of modernism; David Walsh, on the genius of liberal democracy; Alan Jacobs, on The Dictionary of Global Culture and "Real" Global Culture; Jeffrey Meikle, on American Plastic: A Cultural History; Jeffrey Burton Russell, on A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence; Roger Lundin, on Harry Mulisch's novel, The Discovery of Heaven; and Gordon Kreplin, on music, craft, gift, and beauty.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 19

Guests on Volume 19: Robert Goodman, on economic and moral effects of state-sponsored gambling; Ted Prescott, on modernist artists Brancusi and Mondrian, and why they were attracted to abstraction; Daniel Chirot, on how resentful nationalism and utopian ideologies combine to form Modern Tyrants; Edward Ericson, Jr., on books by and about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; Alan Jacobs, on the portrayal of morals and manners in films based on Jane Austen novels; Charles Sykes, on why schools have abandoned the life of the mind; Allan C. Carlson, on what's wrong with Hillary Rodham Clinton's It Takes a Village; and Thomas Connolly, on music and cosmic coherence.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 17

Guests on Volume 17: Alan Jacobs, on the seafaring fiction of novelist Patrick O'Brian; Barry Sanders, on the deeper dynamics of literacy; Mark Slouka, on bizarre Gnostic temptations in cyberspace; Alan Ehrenhalt, on how valuing choice hurts community; Geoffrey T. Holtz, on twenty-somethings and the shape of family life; Mardi Keyes, on dubious assumptions about the nature of adolescence; W. Bradford Wilcox, on tradition and belief; Glenn Loury, on race and relationships; and John Hodges, on the influence of Russian Orthodoxy in the music of John Tavener.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 16

Guests on Volume 16: Philip Cushman, on the cultural history of psychotherapy in America; R. Laurence Moore, on religious disestablishment and the growth imperative; Keith J. Pavlischek, on the shrinking foundations supporting religious liberty; Dean M. Kelley, on the government's deadly interpretation of the Branch Davidian religion; Alan Jacobs, on the storytelling powers of neurologist Oliver Sacks; Kathleen Murphy, on Ingmar Bergman's films and the lack of seriousness in contemporary film; Michael Allen Gillespie, on the medieval (and theological) sources of nihilism; Robert Wilken, on similarities between the early Church's culture and our own; and Francis Crociata, on the music of American composer Leo Sowerby.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 14

Guests on Volume 14: Thomas Cahill, on the story of How the Irish Saved Civilization; Mark Noll, on the history of Evangelical anti-intellectualism; Paul Davies, on God and time; William Lane Craig, on problems in the thinking of Paul Davies; Alan Jacobs, on the moral dumbing down of Louisa May Alcott's novel in the movie version of Little Women; Drew Trotter, on the moral indifference of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino; Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., on the need for a recovery of the meaning of sin; Eugene Genovese, on learning from the Southern Agrarians; and Ted Libbey, on J. S. Bach's St. John Passion.

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