William Tate

William Tate

Professor of English
Department Chair
Dean of Arts and Letters
On faculty since 2007

 

706.419.1619
william.tate@covenant.edu

 

Education

PhD, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996

MA, Duke University, 1986

MA, Bob Jones University, 1984

BA, Bob Jones University, 1982 

 

Professional Interests

Because everything is related to everything else, I'm interested in everything. I'm especially interested in the ways theology, philosophy, and literature form and transform cultures. I love the literature of the English Renaissance (favorite authors from the period include Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert). I'm also strongly interested in Modern and Contemporary literature (favorites include Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Richard Wilbur, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill among the poets and Walker Percy and Frederick Buechner among the novelists; I’m also interested in the work of Wendell Berry, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and Marilynne Robinson). I'm especially intrigued by the ways authors use metaphor and fiction to convey truth and to describe or change the world.

 

Favorite theologians include Karl Barth, Herman Bavinck, G. C. Berkouwer, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Frame, Colin Gunton, Lesslie Newbigin, William Perkins, and Thomas F. Torrance. Favorite philosophers include Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alvin Plantinga, Paul Ricoeur, and Nicholas Wolterstorff; I’m still trying to figure out what I think of Martin Heidegger. I look to these writers for help in my effort to understand the world as well as how the invented worlds of literature relate to the actual world.

 

Personal Interests

I'm married to Patty, who directs the Math Center at Covenant. We have four children, Joseph, Hannah, Will, and Rebekah; they're all creative and challenging and know a lot more about technology than I do.

 

Patty and I both enjoy pottery, though we haven’t done much to build our collection in recent years. When I’m not too busy, I enjoy cooking; one of my favorite meals is a steak and mushroom potpie with plenty of thyme.

 

Professional Membership

  • Conference on Christianity and Literature

 

Selected Recent Publications

  • “‘Where Eyes Become the Sunlight’: Roman Fountains in Martin Heidegger and Richard Wilbur.” Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 15:2 (Summer/Fall 2016): 137-158.
  •  “‘How the Sun Came Shining’: Stevens and Wilbur on Waking Up.” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 19:3 (Summer 2016): 87-112.
  •  “Avian Diptych:  Richard Wilbur’s Flights of Imagination,” Christianity and Literature 65:3 (2016): 310-326.

 

Selected Publications

  • “Karl Barth’s Secular Parables.”  CASE:  The Quarterly Magazine of the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education 30 (2012): 22-26.
  • “Something in Us Like the Catbird’s Song.”  LOGOS:  A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 13:3 (Summer 2010): 105-123.

 

Recent Presentations

  • “‘To Be Without a Description of To Be’:  Wallace Stevens and Richard Wilbur on Waking Up.”  Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature, April 2012.
  • “Gonzalo’s Garments:  Skepticism  and the Capacity for Wonder in Shakespeare’s The Tempest,” Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature, April 2011.  Presented again, in adapted form at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, July 2012.