Listening to the past can help us to understand our present, but it is so difficult to read ancient works of literature and theology alone. I’m Dr. Grace Hamman, a scholar of medieval literature and mother of three. Old Books With Grace shares my love for old books and listens to the wisdom emanating from these long dead voices. My hope is that Old Books With Grace will empower you to approach often intimidating works of literature and theology and as a result, ask questions of our current age. We live in a time that values the new and the now more than ever. But I truly believe that these books speak outside of the echo-chambers in which we so often find ourselves and help us to find ageless truth from lost centuries.
The Coventry Carol: An Advent Meditation
In this episode, we encounter the Coventry Carol, which is the opposite of a holly, jolly Christmas song. It comes from medieval mystery plays, and is a lullaby sung by the mothers of the baby boys about to be killed by King Herod as the Holy Family flees to Egypt. Historically, Advent was not just a time of waiting and reflection—it was also a fasting time for repentance and mourning before the merrymaking feast of Christmas. Listen to learn more and meditate on the Coventry Carol.
O Come O Come Emmanuel: An Advent Meditation
Learn about the ancient history of the song, "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and meditate on its beauty and meaning just in time for Advent with Dr. Grace Hamman.
Art & the Annunciation with Victoria Emily Jones
Victoria Emily Jones of Art & Theology discusses some wonderful art depicting the Annunciation, from poetry to visual art, from medieval to modern day, with Grace. Victoria and Grace unpack the multilayered meaning of these beautiful works in their exploration of Mary's encounter with the Angel Gabriel, as we prepare our hearts for Advent and receiving God alongside Mary. You can see all the art from this episode on social media or on oldbookswithgrace.com, or on YouTube.
Thinking of Jesus as Our Mother With Shannon K. Evans
Shannon Evans, author of Rewilding Motherhood, joins Grace to talk about the powerful and poignant image of Jesus as our Mother. How does this ancient metaphor affect our lives today? Shannon and Grace talk Julian of Norwich, motherhood, and the theology of this idea.
From the Endless Knot to the Green Girdle: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, pt. IV
At last, Gawain comes to the mysterious, terrifying Green Chapel. What happens next? Find out, meditate on the results, and rejoice over the wonderful poetry of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, with Grace.
The Hunter and the Hunted: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, pt. III
There are more traps at Bertilak's castle than you think, Gawain... and loads of stylish hunting poetry! Welcome to part III of the series on the incredible medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight!