Hometown: Branson, Missouri
Education: BA English Literature, John Brown University
Coby’s main academic interests lie at the intersection of literary criticism and theological discourse. He is fascinated by the ability of the arts to serve as a medium for theological discussion and by the historical tendency of theology to inspire art. In recent years, his research has focused on the use of religious symbolism in nineteenth-century novels such as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. Coby also researches the work of G.K. Chesterton, employing Chesterton’s unpublished correspondence housed at the British Library and considering the theological underpinnings of his novel The Man Who Was Thursday and his Father Brown detective stories.
Figures currently of literary/theological interest to Coby include: Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, John Calvin, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gerard Manley Hopkins, C.S. Lewis, Naguib Mahfouz, John Ruskin, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Coby’s extracurricular pursuits vary widely. He is active in the St Andrews Basketball Club as both a player and a coach. He enjoys golf, hiking, music, sitcoms (Seinfeld, in particular), and board games (at which he is admittedly too competitive). There are few things he loves more than a good conversation with friends—whether it be hearty theological debate or lighthearted pop-cultural banter. He strives to see and enjoy the beauty and goodness of God in all areas of life.