posted December 17, 2003

John Cox to Lead National Scholarly Group

John Cox of the Hope College English faculty has been elected president of the Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL).He will be installed in office at a luncheon hosted by CCL during this year's meeting of the Modern Language Association, being held in San Diego, Calif., on Friday-Tuesday, Dec. 26-30. His two-year term will begin in January.

CCL was founded in 1956 by scholars who were interested in the historical and theoretical relationship between literature and Christianity. They began publishing a scholarly journal, "Christianity and Literature," which is presently subscribed to by about 1,200 individuals and libraries. CCL is a national organization, represented in 49 of the 50 states, all the provinces of Canada, and eight other countries. Dedicated to both scholarly excellence and collegial exchange, it is supported entirely by the dues paid by its members.

In addition to sponsoring sessions at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, CCL also sponsors local meetings in each of seven regions of the U.S. and Canada. The next CCL meeting in the Midwest will be held in March at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion. Cox will present a paper titled "Two Kings Praying: Shakespeare and the Problem of Belief."

CCL is governed by a nationally elected board, which meets annually at the Modern Language Association convention. Each board member is responsible for some part of the organization, such as regional meetings, the budget and the journal. The president chairs the annual meeting of the board, ensures that board members complete their tasks, and helps decide the program of two sessions that CCL sponsors every year at the meeting of the Modern Language Association.

Cox earned his undergraduate degree from Hope College in 1967 and his graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. He joined the Hope faculty in 1979 and since 1984 has served as director of the college's interdisciplinary studies program. In 1996 he was appointed to the newly established DuMez Endowed Professorship in English.

He is author of "Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power," published in 1989 by Princeton University Press; co-editor of "A New History of Early English Drama," published in 1997 by Columbia University Press; author of "The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama, 1350-1642," published in 2000 by Cambridge University Press; and co-editor of the Third Arden Shakespeare edition of "Henry VI, Part 3," published by Thomson Learning in 2001. He has also written many scholarly articles and book reviews on Renaissance drama and contemporary writers.