Author to speak at univ. of south

Wm. Paul Young, best-selling author of The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity, will speak in Sewanee Nov. 15 and 16.

Local and regional community members will have the opportunity to explore how The Shack relates to faith with the book’s author on Nov. 15 in a lecture open to the public and held in All Saints’ Chapel on the campus of the University of the South at 7 p.m.

Registration for the lecture is encouraged and a “love offering” will be collected to support the event. On Saturday, Nov. 16, Young will lead a workshop entitled “Lies We Believe About God,” based on his non-fiction book of the same title.

Registration and a tuition fee are required for the workshop.

For complete details and to register for any of these offerings, visit or call 1.800.722.1974.

The Shack, a story about a father wrestling with what he calls a “Great Sadness” after the brutal murder of his youngest daughter, found a world-wide audience and was the No. 1 paperback trade fiction seller on the New York Times Best Seller list from June 2008 to early 2010. It was successfully turned into a feature film starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw in 2017.

According to Young, books like The Shack “give voice to many who want to know a God who is relational and not religious” and speaks to those with “grieving and questioning broken hearts.” Young’s work, he says, “meets those who are stuck somewhere between edgy and Jesus.” As for the workshop, he begins with the “the lie that we are separated from God; then we’ll explore how this paper tiger has kept so many in religious bondage and perpetuated religious institutional power.”

 This visit to Sewanee by Young is one of two events in a series called FaithMatters, a new offering from the Beecken Center of the School of Theology that seeks to bring people to Sewanee who are engaging matters of faith in innovative ways. “At a time when cultural and political division is so painful, we believe that people are hungry to explore faith, spirituality, and meaning,” notes Sheri D. Kling, executive director of the Beecken Center. “Reading the news, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Welcoming Wm. Paul Young in November to talk about faith and The Shack and then Episcopal Bishop Jake Owensby in March of 2020 to talk about ‘Living a Resurrection-Shaped Life’ is a way that the Beecken Center can bring something hopeful to the community.”