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Campus Directory

William Tate

William Tate

Professor of English

Dean of Arts and Letters


On faculty since 2007

Office Hours
By Appointment


PhD, English Renaissance Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996
MA, English Literature, Duke University, 1986
MA, Bible, Bob Jones University, 1984
BA, Bible, Bob Jones University, 1982

Professional Interests

Because everything is related to everything else, I'm interested in everything. I'm especially interested in the ways theology, philosophy, and literature form and transform cultures. I love the literature of the English Renaissance (favorite authors include Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert). I'm also strongly interested in Modern and Contemporary literature (favorites include Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Richard Wilbur, and Seamus Heaney among the; I’m also interested in the work of Wendell Berry, Frederick Buechner, Neil Gaiman, and Marilynne Robinson). I'm especially intrigued by the ways authors use metaphor and fiction to convey truth and to describe or change the world.

Favorite theologians include Karl Barth, Herman Bavinck, G. C. Berkouwer, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, John Frame, Colin Gunton, Lesslie Newbigin, William Perkins, and Thomas F. Torrance. Favorite philosophers include Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Helm, Alvin Plantinga, Paul Ricoeur, and Nicholas Wolterstorff; I’m still trying to figure out what I think about Martin Heidegger. I look to these writers for help in my effort to understand the world as well as how the invented worlds of literature relate to the actual world.

Personal Interests

I'm married to Patty, who directs the Math Center at Covenant. We have four children: Joseph, Hannah, Will, and Rebekah.

Patty and I both enjoy pottery, though we haven’t done much to build our collection in recent years. When I’m not too busy, I enjoy cooking; one of my favorite meals is a steak and mushroom potpie with plenty of thyme.

Professional Membership

  • Conference on Christianity and Literature

Selected Recent Publications

  • “‘A Set Mind, Blessed by Doubt’: Phenomenologies of Misperception in Frost,Wilbur, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.” Christian Scholar's Review 48.4 (Summer 2019): 351-370.
  • Review of Colleen Ruth Rosenfeld Indecorous Thinking: Figures of Speech in Early Modern Poetics (New York: Fordham University Press, 2018). Journal of British Studies 58.2 (2019): 423-424.
  • “‘Shades of Bliss’: Imagining Heaven in Wallace Stevens and Richard Wilbur.” Christianity and Literature 68.2 (March 2019): 252-271.
  • “‘Where Eyes Become the Sunlight’: Roman Fountains in Martin Heidegger and Richard Wilbur.” Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 15:2 (Summer/Fall 2016): 137-158.
  • “‘How the Sun Came Shining’: Stevens and Wilbur on Waking Up.” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 19:3 (Summer 2016): 87-112.
  • “Avian Diptych: Richard Wilbur’s Flights of Imagination,” Christianity and Literature 65:3 (2016): 310-326.
  • Review of Daniel W. Doerksen, Picturing Religious Experience: George Herbert, Calvin, and the Scriptures (University of Delaware Press, 2011). Christianity and Literature 64:3 (Summer 2015): 365-368.
  • “Karl Barth’s Secular Parables.” CASE: The Quarterly Magazine of the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education 30 (2012): 22-26. Rpt. in Journal for the Sociological Integration of Religion and Society 2.2 (October 2012): 23-29.
  • “‘Something in Us Like the Catbird’s Song’: Wallace Stevens and Richard Wilbur on the Truth of Poetry.” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 13:3 (Summer 2010): 105-123.