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It's been a long time between aquavits!

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

One would think that through all this time of the corona-era, one would have plenty of time to write some posts here. However, it's been a mad time for everyone, and a couple of deaths in the family haven't helped.


By way of update, I'm in the PhD research programme with Notre Dame in Australia and am presenting my formal proposal in a couple of weeks when feedback on the thesis will be received.


The thesis is on holiness in Sigrid Undset and will cover three areas:



  1. The objective holiness of the Church, i.e. her foundation, her doctrines and the sacraments. I'll look at what attracted Undset to Catholicism and how she came to see the Church's worldview as most real (intimately understanding everything human), most rational and most transcendent.

  2. The subjective holiness of the Church, i.e. in her saints and wayfarers. This will draw on her hagiographical writings and the monologues and dialogues of the characters in her novels. I'll be dividing this section up according to the traditional three "ages" of the spiritual life: the purgative, illuminative and unitive.

  3. Finally there's what I'm calling "societal holiness". Here I will write on Undset's depiction of a society, the culture of which is imbued with the Catholic Faith, as evidenced in its legal and justice systems, the care for the needy, the sanctification of the year through liturgical feasts.

I won't give too much away here, but that's the essence of it. With research starting in earnest after the presentation, I hope to post more about my findings, or even to put up quotes that you might find interesting. As always, feedback is welcome!


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