With his sharp intellect and vast imagination, English professor Aaron Kleist is always looking for ways to push the educational envelope.
His classes are known for their creative names, their heavy workload and their ridiculous semester-ending activities. Take, for example, this spring’s “Beowulf: The Hero, the Monsters and the Cultural Text” — which will culminate with Viking longship warfare in Biola’s swimming pool. Then there’s “IRIS,” a much-buzzed-about interterm class that he launched last year, which combines multiple subjects and classes into one.
“We get some of the best professors on campus into a single room,” Kleist said of the class. “Instead of students going from biology class to Bible to art to English to philosophy … we put them in a room with professors who are committed to an interdisciplinary conversation with a common goal, which is to see Christ in his creation more clearly and to be transformed into his likeness as a result.”
Kleist came to Biola in 2001 from the University of Cambridge, where he earned a Ph.D. in Old English literature. In the years since, he has published prolifically and has been honored with prestigious Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities grants.
Here’s your chance to get to know him.