Grant Horner

Professor of Renaissance and Reformation Studies





Professor Grant Horner’s academic specialty is the literature, theology and philosophy of the Renaissance and Reformation, with primary concentration in Milton, Shakespeare, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin and late sixteenth and seventeenth century intellectual and cultural history. His research and writing has focused on Christian Humanism in the Reformation, particularly the complex relationship between developing Reformed thought and Classical Graeco-Roman pagan mythology and philosophy. At Duke University he was taught and mentored by Stanley Fish, America’s leading literary theorist. He has worked on the citation of classical Greek and Latin authorities by Renaissance writers, published on theology and the arts, and recently completed a full-length work on John Milton and John Calvin. His first book, “Meaning at the Movies” on film and theology (Crossway, 2010) was an Amazon bestseller and nominated for Book of the Year in Christianity and Culture by the Book Retailers Association. His second book, “John Milton, Classical Learning, and the Progress of Virtue” was published by Classical Academic Press in 2015. Two shorter books are under contract and forthcoming in summer 2017: one on Dracula, and another on Paradise Lost.

Professor Horner is the Founder and Director of The Master’s University in Italy Program, a six-week summer intensive study abroad semester. Students live in an ancient villa in the city that was the birthplace of the modern world in the Renaissance: beautiful Florence. We also spend time in Rome and Venice. A variety of Humanities courses revolve around the Renaissance Humanist’s question ‘quid est homo?’—‘what is man?’ We examine the basis for studying the Humanities and explore what it means to be human.

Horner was named “Professor of the Year” in May 2001, his second year at The Master’s University, and again in 2007. He has taught at the University of Alabama and UNC-Chapel Hill, and was appointed Hudson Strode Scholar in Renaissance Studies (1994-96) at UA. At Master’s, Professor Horner teaches courses on Medieval and Renaissance literature, Film Studies, Shakespeare, Milton, John Calvin, Poetry and Poetics, Comedy, Critical Theory, Western Art History, Epic, Classical Christian Humanism, and Classical Latin. He is an Alcuin Fellow in the Society for Classical Learning. He holds an appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin at Fuller Seminary, and works in early printed books and rare manuscripts at The Huntington Library. Horner designed the original Humanities program in the Rhetoric School at Trinity Classical Academy, the fastest-growing classical school in the nation, and served as Chair for several years. He continues to mentor the teachers at Trinity.

Prof. Horner speaks regularly in a number of venues including national radio, particularly on current theological trends, philosophy and popular culture. He has spoken to Berkeley students on Christianity and popular culture, was invited to give the endowed Kegel Lecture at Caltech on representations of human consciousness in philosophy and art, and speaks regularly on the radio and television with over 100 appearances to date. He and his wife, Joanne, have three children: Seth, Josiah and Rachel, and several grandchildren, and they live in Santa Clarita, California. They love to watch and discuss movies! Grant has been involved heavily in rock climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering since 1979, rockclimbing at a world-class level through the 1980s and 1990s, and he has made five one-day speed-climbing ascents of Yosemite Valley’s 3000’ El Capitan – the largest vertical granite cliff in the world, and famously difficult. He is one of a handful of climbers who has done the “Nose” route on El Cap in less than 24 hours (usual ascents are 3-6 days; his record time is 12:52) and he is the only climber in the world to make such a speed-ascent on a first attempt and first visit to Yosemite. He spends much of the summer in the High Sierra on huge, high-altitude rock and ice walls, making numerous speed ascents of what are normally multi-day alpine peaks, often in a matter of hours, and sometimes solo-climbing two peaks as high as 14,000 feet in a single day. He has also recently rekindled a longtime passion for sailing around the Channel Islands off Southern California’s Pacific coast.


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