‘Readers Meet the Author’ Virtual Reading Group Highlights Books Written by Baylor Faculty

Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Honors Program, and his new book will be featured in the inaugural "Readers Meet the Author: A Virtual Reading Group for Baylor Faculty" event.
Oct. 9, 2020

Media Contact: Terry Goodrich, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-3321
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by Cerenity Austin, student news writer, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (Oct. 9, 2020) — The Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL), Office of the President and Office of the Provost will present the inaugural “Readers Meet the Author: A Virtual Reading Group for Baylor Faculty," an event which will feature author Alan Jacobs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Honors Program, from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

The event will consist of reflection and conversation with Baylor faculty about Jacobs’ new book “Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind.”

Jacobs said his book expands on how listening to the voices of the past — increasing our “temporal bandwidth” — can help us acquire more “personal density,” which can lead to a more peaceable spirit.

“I wrote this book because I saw so many of my fellow Americans getting caught up in an endless feedback loop of rage, and I wanted to suggest a way to get out of that loop and cultivate some much-needed tranquility,” Jacobs said. “I also wanted to remind people how much wisdom and interest there are in works from the past — the kind I teach every day.”

The sessions will focus on books written by several Baylor faculty members on a range of topics to support IFL’s goal to encourage opportunities for shared reflection and collegial conversation about big ideas.

Forthcoming Authors to be Featured

  • Dr. Greg Garrett, professor in the department of English and author of “A Long, Long Way: Hollywood's Unfinished Journey from Racism to Reconciliation.”
  • Dr. Angela Gorrell, assistant professor of practical theology at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary and author of “Always On.”
  • Dr. Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, co-director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion and author of “Fertility and Faith: The Demographic Revolution and the Transformation of World Religions.”
  • Dr. Mandy McMichael, assistant professor, associate director of ministry guidance and author of “Miss America’s God: Faith and Identity in America’s Oldest Pageant.”
  • Dr. Scott Moore, associate professor of philosophy and great texts, assistant director of the University Scholars Program and author of “How to Burn a Goat: Farming with the Philosophers.”
  • “Even in the midst of challenging days, we remember that universities are about ideas,” said Darin H. Davis, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Faith and Learning. “Our ‘Readers Meet the Author’ series seeks to makes it possible for faculty from across the university to meet virtually and discuss recent books written by some of Baylor’s outstanding faculty.”

    “I especially hope that people will share their own ideas for how to become more tranquil, more stable, less vulnerable to what I call ‘Twitter tsunamis’ — and to social media more generally,” Jacobs said.

    Jacobs and Davis expressed the importance of drawing attention to and celebrating the work of Baylor faculty even during times of uncertainty.

    “IFL’s mission always has involved drawing people together to think about the most important ideas through the lens of Christian faith,” Davis said. “Even in times when our gatherings must be virtual, we realize the importance of bringing people together whenever possible.”

    Registration is required by Oct. 9 to attend, and a Zoom link will be sent to registered participants. A link to an excerpt from the book will be available upon registration.

    A copy of the book will be offered to participants by request after the event.

    To register, visit the Institute for Faith and Learning website.


    The Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment, and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of this mission, cultivating high-quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students, and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual tradition. For more information, visit https://www.baylor.edu/ifl/.


    Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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