Dr. Pamela Klassen has shared a personal reflection titled “Epic Lives” for The Immanent Frame, which publishes interdisciplinary perspectives on religion, secularism, and the public sphere.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
When asked at a cosmic scale, the answer to the question “Is this all there is?” may often be yes. Measured by the secular—in the sense of very long duration—ages that predict the heat death of the universe, the prospects for eternal meaning look dim. Measured by the storytelling genius of George Eliot, Alice Munro, and Elena Ferrante, the answer is also a kind of yes. All that there is can be found right in front of you, in the people whom you encounter in your everyday lives, on the street, in a classroom, in your home. Human relationships are not the only force in the world for change, redemptive or evil. But they are, I hazard, required for our existence. We need to take care of them, sometimes airing out their injustices and inequities, other times preserving their intimacies and histories.
Dr. Klassen is a Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, cross-appointed to the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students in areas of the anthropology and history of Christianity and colonialism in North America, method and theory in the study of religion, and religion, media, and the public sphere.