About Us
Norm Klassen
Norm Klassen
Department of English

DPhil, University of Oxford

MA, University of Waterloo

BA Honours, University of Waterloo

BTh, Canadian Bible College


SH 2205
Associate Professor Klassen Norm
I have begun my second decade at St. Jerome’s University and am enjoying an ideal teaching schedule. My courses range from introductions to literature and literary theory to a survey of British literature to my specialties Chaucer and pre-modern rhetoric. In my research, I am interested in literature as theology. My award-winning book about The Canterbury Tales entitled The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision appeared at the end of 2016 in the Veritas series published by Cascade Books. Please see my PUBLICATIONS for more information. 
I have also written recently on literature and poetry for the Zondervan Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. My early work explored relational aspects of knowing, with emphasis on the poetry of Chaucer. With Jens Zimmermann, this interest developed into an exploration of the Christian recognition of the situatedness and self-knowledge involved in all attempts to make sense of things. We articulated some of these ideas in an introductory way in The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education (2006).    

When I’m not working, I enjoy cycling and creative writing. I live in Hamilton with my accomplished and beautiful wife. We have three grown-up sons.


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.


The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision: Chaucer on Overcoming Tyranny and Becoming Ourselves. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2016.


Norm Klassen and Jens Zimmermann, The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of  University Education, Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.


Chaucer on Love, Knowledge, and Sight, Chaucer Studies 21, Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1995.


“Surprised by Joy: Chaucer’s Tonal Achievement in Parliament of Fowls, 92-294,” Tradition and Formation: Claiming an Inheritance: Essays in Honour of Peter C. Erb, ed. Michel Desjardins and Harold Remus, Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2009, 213-28.


Jens Zimmermann and Norman Klassen, “Simon Critchley: The Ethics of Deconstruction or Metaphysics in the Dark,” in The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic, ed. Deborah Bowen, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, 122-34.

“Romance and Tragedy in Chaucer’s ‘litel bok’ of Troilus and Criseyde,” in A Concise Companion to Chaucer, ed. Corinne Saunders, Oxford: Blackwell, 2005, 157-77.


“Nature, Virtue, and Humanism: Cross-Disciplinary Reflections on Vermigli’s Romans Commentary (10-16),” Peter Martyr Vermigli and the European Reformations, ed. Frank James in Studies in the History of Christian Traditions, Leiden: Brill, 2004, 197-211.


“Chaucerian Ethics: The Spaces of Dialogue,” Theology in Dialogue III:  English Literature and Theology, ed. Liam Gearon, London: Cassell, 1999, 85-103.


“Mary’s Swollen Womb: What It Looks Like to Overcome Tyranny in The Second Nun’s Prologue and Tale,”Renascence 68 (2016): 76-92.


“The Coherence of Creation in the Word: The Rhetoric of Lines 1-34 of Chaucer’s General Prologue,” Christianity and Literature 64 (2014): 3-20.


 “A Further Note on Editorial Punctuation of the General Prologue, ll. 12-16,” The New Chaucer Society Newsletter 36.1 (2014): np.


“To Seek To Distant Shrines: A Syntactical Problem in Chaucer’s General Prologue 12-16,” Modern Philology 111.3 (2014): 585-92.


“Two Possible Sources for Chaucer’s Description of the Pardoner,” Notes and Queries 252 (ns 54) (September 2007), 233-6.


“City of Lights: Natural and Transcendent Light Sources for Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s ‘Good City-Republic,’” Quaderni d’Italianistica 28 (2007), 31-44.


“A Note on ‘Hyre’ in Parliament of Fowls, 284,” Notes and Queries 251 (ns 53) (June 2006), 154-7.


“Two Chaucers,” Medium Aevum 68 (1999), 96-104.


“The Lover’s Largesce: Agency and Selfhood in Chrétien’s Le Chevalier de la Charrette (Lancelot),” French Forum 24 (1999), 5-20.


“Self-reflexiveness and the Category of the Will in Early Troubadour Poetry of Fin’ Amors,” Forum for Modern Language Studies 34 (1998), 29-42.   




“Material Limits,” Times Higher Education, 16 January 2014: 33


Dictionary Entries
“Julian of Norwich,” Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, ed. Glen G. Scorgie, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011, 553-4.


“Literature and Christian Spirituality,” DCS, 579-81.


“Poetry and Poetics,” DCS, 678-80.


Mars Hill Audio Journal, vol. 136, 15 November 2017.


Mars Hill Audio Journal, Anthology 8: “The Vocation of Knowledge: Higher Education and the Difference Christ Makes,” 1 January 2010.


Mars Hill Audio Journal, vol. 86, 1 July 2007.


Unrefereed Articles
“Art by the Word,” Convivium 5 (2016), 26-28.


“A Pilgrimage of Conversation,” Convivium 4 (2015), 20-23.


“My Anglicanism,” The Anglican Catholic 15 (2003), 24-40.

Norm Klassen and Tony Cummins, “Human/ist Affirmations: An Interdisciplinary Conversation,” Canadian Evangelical Review 25 (2003), 5-17.


Book Reviews (Print)
Ryan McDermott, Tropologies: Ethics and Invention in England, c. 1350-1600, Christianity and Literature

Peter W. Travis, Rereading the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Modern Philology 111.1 (2013): E19-22.


Online Postings
“George Grant as a Philosopher of Fittedness for the Contemporary Canadian Situation or Overcoming Our Self-Incurred Immaturity,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 8 June 2017.


Review of Aaron Riches, Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ, Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 3 June 2017.


“A Reflection on the Canticle of Mary,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 1 June 2017.


“Harari on Big Data and the Gap Between Homo and Deus,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 5 December 2016.

“A Reflection on the Canticle of Zechariah,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 17 November 2016.


Review of Conor Cunningham, Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get it Wrong, Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 21 December 2012.


“The Thomistic Challenge of C.S. Lewis’s Sermon ‘Learning in War-time,’” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 3 October 2011.


“Lewis for Our Times: Principles of Cultural Apologetics in the Writings of Rowan Williams,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 3 October 2011.


“The Perils of (post)Postmodernism and the Joy of Incarnational Humanism,” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 22 August 2011.


“Newman on Literature.” Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton, 8 December 2010.


“Chaucer’s Tyranny-Resistant Fellowship of the Imagination” St. Jerome's University Faculty Research Grant (2015)
“Academic Conversations about Rowan Williams’s Theology of Art” St. Jerome's University Faculty Research Grant (2013-2014)
“Annotating Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Commentary on Romans” St. Jerome's University Faculty Research Grant (2007-2008)
Additional Disbursement (awarded on merit) for the CCCU “Networking Grant” (2001-2002)
Council of Christian Colleges and Universities “Networking Grant” Project:  Neohumanism and the Ethical Turn in Theological Perspective (1999-2002)


“The Fellowship of the Beatific Vision” St. Jerome's University Aid to Scholarly Publications Fund (2015-2016)
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (1995-1997)
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (1992-1993)


University of Waterloo, Federation of Students (Feds) Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (2018)
Excellence in Publishing Award- Theology (3rd place) - Association of Catholic Publishers (2017)
The Dean’s Innovative Teaching Award (2000)
Overseas Research Scheme Award (1990-1992)


ENGL 101A: Introduction to Literary Studies

ENGL 200A: Survey of British Literature 1

ENGL 200B: Survey of British Literature 2

RS 291: Special Topics: The Sacramental Imagination

ENGL 251: Literary Theory and Criticism

ENGL 251B: Criticism 2

RS 291: Special Topics [Topic: The Sacramental Imagination]

ENGL 309A: Rhetoric, Classical to Enlightenment

ENGL 309B: Medieval to Pre-Modern Rhetoric

ENGL 310 A: Chaucer 1

ENGL 310B: Chaucer 2

HUMSC 498: Directed Studies in Human Sciences

CT 602: The History of Catholicism

ENGL 705:  Studies in Old and Middle English Literature



Medieval English Literature

Medieval Humanism

Medieval Rhetoric

Literature and Theology

Literary Theory


The content that follows may only represent a portion of the Faculty member’s work.



St. Jerome's University

Acting Chair, Department of Religious Studies (2019-2021)

HeForShe Impact 10x10x10 Committee

Saint John’s Bible Committee                          

Interim Associate Dean (2011-2012)

Chair, Department of English (2008-2012)


University of Waterloo

Pascal Selection Committee (2017-present)

Undergraduate Operations Committee (2011-2012)

Undergraduate Associate Deans’ Seminar Group (2011-2012)

Examinations and Standings Committee (2006-2008)



Communio Circle of Waterloo (2006-present)

Cross Cultures (2015-present)

Senator, Redeemer University College (2009-2012)