Religion and Literature; Theological Poetics; Christianity and Contemporary Culture
“It is at the level of the imagination that the fateful issues of our new world-experience must first be mastered” (Amos Wilder, Theopoetic). This observation reflects a conviction that has inspired Dr. Mahan’s work as the Executive Director of the Rivendell Institute and a Christian scholar over the course of his 24 years as a campus minister at Yale. In his commitment to serve the university, its students, faculty and staff he promotes a thoughtful, creative engagement with Christian faith in contemporary culture. Dr. Mahan’s fascination with the relationship between theology, the imagination and other academic disciplines has similarly guided his research, teaching, and writing. He is the author of several works on this subject, including his book An Unexpected Light: Theology and Witness in the Poetry & Thought of Charles Williams, Micheal O’Siadhail, and Geoffrey Hill (Princeton Theological Monographs, 2009). His work as a Lecturer in Religion and Literature at the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale Divinity School, urges students to read modern works of poetry and fiction as theological ‘texts’, helping them to develop skills as both literary and theological interpreters.
In addition to his academic work and overseeing the programs and operations of the Rivendell team, Dr. Mahan is committed to the spiritual formation of emerging Christian scholars and professionals. Convinced that this generation has unique opportunities to sow a redemptive influence in society, he devotes significant time to personally mentoring students.
Dr. Mahan is a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale, a longstanding member of Yale Religious Ministries, and a co-founder of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers. He and his wife Karen live in Hamden, CT.