New Wimmer Series Book On Prayer And Poetry

Father Rene Kollar, O.S.B., Dean of the School of Humanities and Fine Arts and Professor of History at Saint Vincent College, has edited a book, Prayer and Poetry by Helen C. White, one in a continuing series of books reprinting the Wimmer Memorial Lecture Series. Father Wulfstan Clough, O.S.B., professor of English at Saint Vincent College, wrote the introduction to the new edition.

Helen C. White was a distinguished literature scholar who won numerous awards and fellowships for her work. But much of her work also involved the connections between spirituality and literature Her studies of William Blake, John Donne, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, among others, analyzed the spiritual and religious dimensions of their work and how one informed the other. In addition, she distinguished herself with her activities involving UNESCO, women in the military, and the National Association of the Arts. In all of these ways, White was both a pioneer of women’s roles in academia and the professional world, and an exemplary practitioner of Catholic values in both her professional and private life.

In Prayer and Poetry, White argues that the poet and the mystic both reflect the spiritual aspect of life; and although they do so in different ways, they ultimately reach the same point. Prayer and Poetry was the eight lecture in the Wimmer Memorial Lecture Series (1947-1970) at Saint Vincent and was given in 1954.

Other books reprinted include The Wisdom of Saint Anselm by Gerald B. Phelan; Man’s Approach to God by Jacques Maritain; The Movement Towards Christian Unity in the Nineteenth Century, Christopher Dawson; A Commitment to Truth, John Tracy Ellis; and History and Relevance, Howard Mumford Jones.

Father Rene received his bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College, earned a master of divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary, and the master of arts and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. He teaches courses on English history and modern Ireland, as well as “The Devil and the Problem of Evil in Western Thought.”

With current research interests of 19th and 20th century English Ecclesiastic History, Father Rene’s publications dealing with modern English history and ecclesiastical history include: six books, three edited books, a documentary film for Scan Films (Cardiff, Wales), and more than 180 articles, book chapters, and book reviews. He has presented at conferences in America, England, and Wales and was co-recipient of a 2001 Freedom Project Teaching Grant, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, for an interdisciplinary course, “Freedom, Politics, and Theology.”

In addition, Father Rene serves on the Editorial Board for The American Benedictine Review and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was an Honorary Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London, 1987-88 and a Visiting Scholar at Heythrop College, University of London, 1996-97.

Father Wulfstan has bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Delaware, a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary, and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.

He teaches courses on Arthurian literature, Chaucer, Shakespeare, classical Greek Poetry and drama, British and American authors, and science fiction, among others.

The Wimmer lecture series books are available at