Poetry and Spirituality | Professor Lance Butler

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Professor Lance Butler leads a 10-week poetry discussion group that aims to extract the spiritual meaning from various works.

About this event

Spirituality | Poetry & Spirituality

Sundays | 5:00pm until 6:15pm | £50 | Online via ZOOM.


Consider the Harmonious Relationship Between Poetry and Spirituality

There seems to be a natural affinity between poetry and the spiritual. It is as if only the alchemy of verse can deal adequately with the opacities and transparencies of spiritual insight.

We will study a number of English poems each week to see how they handle the divine, the ineffable and our human interactions with those higher dimensions, as well as with nature and culture, in an effort to show their hidden sides.

Each week you will receive a poetry pack and a recording of the previous week’s session. The poems covered in this series are wholly different to the poems covered in the previous series.

This is a ten-week course, running from 5:00 pm to 6:15 pm on SUNDAYS from Sunday 26th September to Sunday 28th November inclusive, on ZOOM.

Price: £50 for the ten weeks.

To allow for discussion the numbers taking the course are limited to 15. If you have taken this course before – please be aware that the content will be more or less the same.

What to Expect

The chosen poems will be sent to you each week in an e-mail with the Zoom link code which will enable you to access the course. You will get them a few days before the relevant Sunday.

Lance will start each session with a reading of the poems in question and will then make some proposals as to their context, structure and meaning. You will be able to react with questions and comments which, it is hoped, will help deepen the knowledge of the group.

No previous study of poetry is necessary; the intention is to bring out of the poems elements of spiritual illumination that are of interest to all of us. But it will be good if you can read the poems at least once in advance of the meeting.


Here are what past participants have to say about the course:

‘This workshop has opened a whole new world for me, one that has given me an insight I value highly.’

‘The number of students was ideal. Humour and banter lightened the experience’

‘It opened my mind to different kinds of poetry. I liked Lance’s good humoured and well paced delivery. I liked the way we were encouraged to comment, not just in a ‘lit crit’ response but giving our personal, emotional and spiritual responses. As a poet, this is what I most like to hear. This course has triggered an interest in the centre generally and I’ve attended a couple of Tuesday Talks.’

‘I had no idea what to expect and if it would be something I could engage with. I felt included and welcome although much of the content was new to me. Interesting and enjoyable and I would love to take part in a in person session.’

About Lance Butler

Chair of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

Professor Lance Butler taught literature, literary theory and stylistics at the Universities of Stirling in the UK, and Pau in France before retiring to Edinburgh recently. He is the author of books on Samuel Beckett and Philosophy, on Thomas Hardy, on the Victorian Loss of Faith and on Stylistics.

Since discovering the Scientific and Medical Network in the 1980s he has been researching the question of ‘life after death’ and what is known about the possibility of the survival of consciousness beyond our final moments.

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Online event

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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Organiser The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

Organiser of Poetry and Spirituality | Professor Lance Butler

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre is a non-profit charity providing a space for the open-minded exploration of philosophy, science and spirituality.

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