Episode 75 | Reading as a Spiritual Practice with Jessica Hooten Wilson

What if we viewed reading as not just a personal hobby or a pleasurable indulgence but as a spiritual practice that deepens our faith?

In her book, Reading for the Love of God, award-winning author and Trinity Forum Senior Fellow Jessica Hooten Wilson explores how Christian thinkers—including Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Frederick Douglass, and Dorothy Sayers—approached the act of reading.

She argues that reading deeply and well can not only open a portal to a broader imagination, but is akin to acquiring travel supplies for the good life:

“What I’m hoping to see more of is that the church becomes again those people of the book that really try to make others belong and strive for a deeper connection, versus the party atmosphere that our world always is tempting us to do.”

We hope you’re encouraged this Lenten season as you learn to read as a spiritual practice, finding grace and wisdom for living well along the way.

This podcast is an edited version of an online conversation recorded in 2023. Watch the full video of the conversation here, and learn more about Jessica Hooten Wilson.

Authors and books mentioned in the conversation:
Learning the Good Life: Wisdom from the Great Hearts and Minds That Came Before, by Jessica Hooten Wilson
Giving the Devil His Due, by Jessica Hooten Wilson
The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints, by Jessica Hooten Wilson
Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice,, by Jessica Hooten Wilson
Walker Percy
The Life you Save May Be Your Own, by Flannery O’Connor
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Mystery and Manners, by Flannery O’Connor
St. Basil
People of the Book, by David L. Jeffrey
A History of Reading, by Alberto Manguel
Andy Crouch
Dana Gioia
Dorothy Sayers
Ross Douthat
Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Julian of Norwich
Dante Alighieri
Eugene Peterson

Related Trinity Forum Readings:
Revelation, Flannery O’Connor
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Augustine’s Confessions
The Grand Inquisitor, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Moses Man of the Mountain, by Zora Neale Hurston
God’s Grandeur: the Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Related Conversations:
A New Year With The Word with Malcolm Guite
Music, Creativity & Justice with Ruth Naomi Floyd
Pursuing Humility with Richard Foster and Brenda Quinn

To listen to this or any of our episodes in full, visit ttf.org/podcast and to join the Trinity Forum Society and help make content like this possible, join the Trinity Forum Society

Special thanks to Ned Bustard for our podcast artwork.