Matt claims that the Mere Fidelity team won’t read fiction with him (though they counter that this is merely due to lack of a suitable reading companion). Karen Swallow Prior joins the conversation to set the record straight about the value of fiction and literature, along the way clearing up misconceptions about moral formation, church community, and the values and dangers of empathy. Karen is the author of the new book, On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books.

Please visit the Mere Fidelity Patreon page for more information about the Live Q&A show for supporters this Friday, March 19th, 2021.

Mere Fidelity is sponsored by Lexham Press, and features the Lexham Press Book of the Month.

The Book of the Month is Baptism: A Guide to Life from Death by Peter J. Leithart. Get a discount using the promo code MEREFIDELITYMAR21. Peter Leithart reunifies a church divided by baptism. He recovers the baptismal imagination of the Bible, explaining how baptism works according to Scripture. Then, in conversation with Christian tradition, he shows why baptism is something worth recovering and worth agreeing on.

Be sure to apply the discount to your purchase with the promo code MEREFIDELITYMAR21 as you checkout.


Book of the Month Deal [0:00]

The Triumphant Return of Karen Swallow Prior [1:23]

Not All Fiction Is Literature [3:19]

The Role of Literature in Moral Formation [6:01]

Is Moral Formation the Measure of a Good Book? [10:38]

Empathy & Relatability [15:37]

But isn’t fiction supposed to be fun? [19:31]

How does Frankenstein or Jane Eyre fit into church life? [23:08]

Conveying Truth Through Narrative [31:06]

Women Authors [35:15]

Forming Reading Communities [39:12]

Patreon Book Giveaway and Live Show [44:14]


To support Mere Fidelity financially, visit our Patreon here.

Follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Crouch for keeping us organized. Thanks to Tim Motte for sound editing. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.


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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

One Comment

  1. […] ‘On Reading Well,’ with Karen Swallow Prior: Podcast with literature professor Karen Swallow Prior as she discusses the importance of good literature and how it can be helpful in moral formation. […]


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