SpIRE Spirituality Institute

[8 March 2016] The Spirituality of Virginia Woolf

Prof. Stephanie Paulsell

Prof. Stephanie Paulsell
Photo credit: Justin Knight


  • Prof. Stephanie Paulsell
  • Susan Shallcross Swartz Professor of the Practice of Christian Studies
    Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, USA

The novelist Virginia Woolf may seem an unlikely conversation partner for thinking about spirituality.  But her attempts in her novels and essays to find language for the unknowable more in human life–from the mysteries of other human beings to “something in the universe one’s left with”—often emerge from critical engagements with the spiritual dimensions of literary practice.  This talk will explore both the complex religious context around Woolf and the shape of spiritual practice in her work, especially two of her greatest novels, Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse.

SpIRE is delighted to host a lecture with Prof. Stephanie Paulsell, past president of the international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and author of a forthcoming book about Virginia Woolf.

The SpIRE lecture was held on Tuesday, 8 March 2016, at 8.00 pm, in the Jesuit Conference Centre, Milltown Park, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.