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Southern Oregon University

McNair Scholars      


Eric Worthey

       My name is Eric Worthey. I am a non-traditional college student, earning a baccalaureate of arts degree in English with an emphasis in Literary Studies, minoring in Philosophy. I anticipate on graduating with summa cum laude in June of 2016.

       I am interested in the intersection of written history where religion and literature meet. I am fascinated with the way religion shapes thought and belief patterns, as well as the way that people utilize literature to communicate the wide variety of religious thought inspired by individual perceptions and experiences. I am also interested in qualitative research on the effects of the canonical passages in western religion that have been used to usurp the power of certain groups of people like Hebrews and other ethnic groups, homosexuals, and females. I have personally witnessed the miracles and atrocities of religion, which has motivated me to obtain knowledge about religion, combining it with my experiences, and teach individuals with inquiring minds to think freely for themselves. As an undergraduate at Southern Oregon University (SOU), I performed extensive research on the emergence of Christian Literature from oral tradition to written, and the process that was implemented in deciding which texts were deemed either canonical or heretical. This research created a desire in me to probe deeper into the history of Christianity through the vehicle of Philosophy, which led me to the discovery of Thomas Aquinas, a theologian during the Medieval Ages. I am fascinated with Aquinas' work because much of what he speculated still holds true today, and because contemporary philosophers refer to his writings for support in their arguments for the existence of God. Following this, I gained the opportunity to trace the emergence of the character of the devil from a few mentions in Hebrew scripture to an explosion of embellishments to the church liturgy during the Medieval Ages. Other topics I would like to explore are the bible as literature, gender and religion, Holy Grail motif, religious narrative and culture, Medieval European social and religious history, and the history of the English language.

       Upon completing my baccalaureate degree at SOU, I plan to continue my education at the graduate level in pursuit of a doctoral degree in English with a concentration in Medieval Literature. I am excited to explore the ways that literature is used to convey religious ideas and beliefs. I will seek to positively contribute to the academy through the publication of my extensive research on religion and literature. I recognize the importance of education and am committed to life-long learning. I look forward to inspiring the future generation of thinkers by teaching at the university level.

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alma-Rosa Alvarez, Professor of English and Writing

Curriculum Vitae

2014 McNair Summer Research Symposium

PowerPoint Illustrated Presentation: The Universal Heroes' Quest