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Beatrice Institute Podcast

Mar 16, 2021

Jessica Hooten Wilson is an author and speaker dedicated to the questions: What are the great stories and how do we pass them on? She is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence and a professor of Humanities and Classical Education at the University of Dallas. She is the 2019 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities. Jessica joins Grant to discuss the impact of Walker Percy on questions of evil and the modern human. They talk about Percy’s role as the great diagnostician, why Lost in the Cosmos is the last self-help book you’ll ever need, and how to develop your own Walker Percy Reading Plan. Topics include:


  • Great books
  • The existence of evil and the phenomenon of despair
  • The spiritual urgency of Dostoevsky
  • The quest for the tertium quid
  • What a 21st-century Walker Percy protagonist looks like
  • The profane as a conduit for grace and the sacred
  • How to tend your garden
  • A sacramental cosmology
  • The contribution of Christian authors to Walker Percy's legacy
  • Seeing the signs and know what they signify



The Moviegoer by Walker Percy 
Reading Walker Percy’s Novels by Jessica Hooten Wilson 
Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence by Jessica Hooten Wilson
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Kierkegaard on despair
Tertium quid 
Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy 
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren  
The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy  
The Thanatos Syndrome by Walker Percy 
Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy 
Utopia by Thomas More 
Lancelot by Walker Percy 
Candide by Voltaire 
Giving the Devil His Due by Jessica Hooten Wilson
Flannery O’Connor 
Virgil Wander by Leif Inger 
The Reason for Crows by Diane Glancy 
Father Elijah by Michael O’Brien 
Exiles by Ron Hansen 
The Second Coming by Walker Percy