Professor Tim Larsen


Timothy LarsenWhat subjects do you teach? I teach the History of Christianity and Theology. Increasingly, I am also teaching interdisciplinary courses such as “Theology and Art.”

Where did you go to college/university? I am a Wheatie twice over – BA in History ('89) and MA in Theology ('90). I did my PhD in History at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

What were your interests as a college student? I became interested in writing poetry, something that I had never done before. I also discovered the theater (Arena Theater was and still is amazing), and art (the Chicago Art Institute is one of the best collections in the world). Undergraduate days are, of course, a time for you to try to think through most everything. I was interested in politics; I was a member of the leadership team for the campus group for racial reconciliation (BRIDGE), and lots more.

Favorite spot on campus: The Wade Center – not least the front garden.

Favorite meal in the dining hall: Steak Fajitas

A campus or student event you attended recently: The incomparable Professor John Walford’s last lecture on Christians and the contemporary art world.

Free time activities or hobbies: I love to run the prairie path, to cook, to watch movies, to go to plays, and much more.

What is one of your favorite lectures to give and why? The story of Martin Luther. It is so filled with drama and has such resonance for lives today and issues we are still grappling with.

What do you like about Wheaton? The genuine love of learning that pervades the lives of people here.

Describe Wheaton students in three words: Earnest. Energetic. Idealistic.

If you weren’t a professor, what would you be? Unemployed.

What is one project you are working on now? A book (God willing) on anthropologists and the Christian faith.

How do you find the time to write so many books? It is because I love doing it – I have a passion for it which means that I am drawn to it with a sense of joy rather feeling I ought to do it out of a sense of duty.

A book or movie you recently enjoyed and why: Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (the book not the movie). It is a compelling account of how even the seemingly most unlikely people can be drawn to faith.

A book or author you recommend: A long, technical book not for most people, but that I really like is
Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes.

What have you learned from your students? Wheaton students are so existentially alive to so many questions and concerns. They keep me from becoming too complacent about issues and ideas that are not on my front burner.

What advice do you have for students? The system is here to serve you, you are not here to serve the system. Dare to live, to decide sometimes that something else is more important to you than fulfilling a requirement in the syllabus. Don’t make an idol of good grades and fulfilling requirements.

Bonus facts about you: My wife is British and a medical doctor – we have three kids, Lucia, Theo, and Amelia.

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