David Lyle Jeffrey

David Lyle Jeffrey is Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Ottawa, Guest Professor at Peking University, and Honorary Professor at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). Educated at Wheaton College and Princeton, Jeffrey has taught at the University of Rochester, University of Hull (UK), University of Victoria and subsequently University of Ottawa. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Notre Dame, The University of Toronto, and Regent College (UBC). Among the honors he most values is the invitation from St Andrews University in Scotland to give the Andrew Laing Lecture on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Laing lecture in 2004.


David Lyle Jeffrey, "God's Patient Stet"

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(from First Things, July/August 2011)

Writing in The American Scholar in 1991, critic Bruce Bawer claimed that Richard Wilbur is "the outstanding contemporary instance of the type of poet who writes in strict forms about traditional themes, and whose poems—making, as they do, frequent, appropriate, and instructive use of meter, rhyme, imagery, alliteration, assonance, and even the occasional classical allusion—could serve as models in a textbook of prosody." But the attentive (and therefore delighted) reader will take less note of Wilbur's model practice than of the sense of marveling that saturates his work. As David Lyle Jeffrey observes in his article, "God’s Patient Stet," the sense of consistency one perceives in Wilbur's work "emerges not only from his craftsmanship as a poet but from his constancy as an affectionate observer of creation, both Nature and human nature." Jeffrey's article focuses on the poems in Wilbur's 2010 anthology Anterooms, especially those that are more explicitly Biblical or theological in their allusions. David Lyle Jeffrey is Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University. Read by Ken Myers. 25 minutes. $2.


Volume 110

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Guests on Volume 110: Kevin Belmonte, on how G. K. Chesterton embraced a "defiant joy" in spite of the cynical pessimism of many of his contemporaries; David Lyle Jeffrey and Gregory Maillet, on why Christians cannot afford to regard literature as a mere entertaining diversion; Mark Noll, on what motivates anti-intellectualism among Christians and why it is a theologically indefensible prejudice; Alan Jacobs, on W. H. Auden's understanding of the vocation of "poet" and on the spiritual and historical background to Auden's 1947 book-length poem, The Age of Anxiety; and Jonathan Chaplin, on the outlines and sources of the social and political thought of Herman Dooyeweerd and on his understanding of the relationship between theology and Christian philosophy.