University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Memorial Union
A lecture by Carol Zaleski (Smith College)
Free and open to the public.
“If I ever become a saint—I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven — to light the light of those in darkness on earth.” With these words, Mother Teresa—now Saint Teresa of Calcutta—summed up the decades long trial of faith that marked her inner life from the early years of the Missionaries of Charity until her death in 1997. A similar trial was endured by her namesake, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and it bore fruit in a similar resolve. What can we learn about faith, doubt, perseverance, and holiness from the “dark night” experience of the two Teresas?
Carol Zaleski is the Professor of World Religions at Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts, where she has been teaching philosophy of religion, world religions, religion and literature, and Catholic thought since 1989. She is the author of Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of NearDeath Experience in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford University Press) and The Life of the World to Come: NearDeath Experience and Christian Hope (Oxford University Press); and she is coauthor with Philip Zaleski of Prayer: A History (Houghton Mifflin), The Book of Heaven (Oxford University Press), and The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).