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Literature & Silence

Does silence have meaning?  Can it be understood?  Can it be depicted? This partnership between Professor of English Kate McLoughlin and the Oxford Quaker Meeting explores literary silence and the Quaker practice of silence in Worship to consider these questions. Literary silence might be acoustic silence in plays or poetry, or descriptions of silence in literary texts, or the avoidance of certain subjects in literary works. Quaker meetings are silent unless the silence is broken by someone in the congregation offering ministry. This is a silence for listening and reflection, an aid to responding creatively to the world. This Knowledge Exchange is aimed at deepening our understanding of silence, helping us to become better listeners to and readers of silence.

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