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17–18 June 2011
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Heythrop College, University of London, UK.

The first Power of the Word conference  was held in June, 2011 at Heythrop College, University of London, U.K. and gathered  some 100 scholars from the UK, Europe, and the US. The focus of this initiative was to foster and deepen the conversation about the connections between poetry, theology, philosophy and lived spirituality with a clear intention to avoid using literature in an instrumental way (as, for example, a handmaid to theology or philosophy) and to allow literature and literary texts—rather than critical theories about literature—to hold centre stage. 

The fruit of this conference Poetry and the Religious Imagination, edited by Francesca Bugliani Knox and David Lonsdale (1st ed. Ashgate 2015/ 2nd ed. Routledge 2016) later became the first in a series of volumes gathering selected papers or plenary addresses delivered at our conferences.