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Dorothy L. Sayers Research: Welcome


Kathryn Wehr's research focuses on Dorothy L. Sayers's The Man Born to be King, a 12-part life-of-Christ radio play cycle. Other areas of research include theology and the arts, spirituality, formation, and Church history. See below for a list of publications.

Kathryn Wehr has edited a new Wade Annotated Edition of The Man Born to be King (IVP Academic, 2023) with introductions and annotations of each play, in partnership with the Marion E. Wade Center - the archives that are home to the largest collection of Sayers materials in the world. 

The Man Born to be King was first broadcast on the BBC from December 1941 to October 1942 and the 1943 published scripts continue to delight readers and has been reprinted numerous times.  Sayers's friend C.S. Lewis often re-read them during Holy Week.  Kathryn loves writing about Sayers's deeply theological and relevant portrayal of Christ that is yet a quirky artifact of its own day.

Sayers and Wehr, The Man Born to be King_cover A0533.jpeg

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) is best known for her Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels but also wrote poetry, drama for the stage and radio, non-fiction books and essays, and translations of Medieval French and Italian poetry, notably Dante's Divine Comedy.

Sayers Research

Dorothy L. Sayers - Books

  • The Man Born to be King, Wade Annotated Edition. By Dorothy L. Sayers, Edited by Kathryn Wehr.  IVP Academic: 2023.

  • PhD Dissertation: Bible and Theology at Work: The Creative Energy of Dorothy L. Sayers' The Man Born to be King, University of St Andrews, School of Divinity, 2017.

Dorothy L. Sayers - Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “The Zeal of Gervase of Canterbury; Politics and Intrigue Behind the Source Text for Dorothy L. Sayers’s The Zeal of Thy House.” VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center 39 (forthcoming 2023).

  • "Dorothy L. Sayers's Christology in The Man Born to be King" Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture  23.3 (Summer 2020). Read it here. 

  • “Sayers’ Use of Secondary Sources in The Man Born to be King.” VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center 35 (2018).

  • "‘Nobody…must be allowed to 'talk Bible'; Dorothy L. Sayers’ Use of the Authorized Version and the Coverdale Psalms in The Man Born to be King.” The Journal of Inklings Studies 8.2 (2018).

  • “Disambiguation: Sayers as a Catholic.” VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center 33 (2016).

  • “Dorothy L. Sayers’ Use of the Four Gospels in The Man Born to be King.” The Journal of Inklings Studies 6.2 (2016).

Dorothy L. Sayers - Magazines, Newspapers, and Blogs

  • "My Imagination Seems to Have Gone on Strike" Off The Shelf, blog of the Marion E. Wade Center, January 11, 2022. Read it here. 

  • "The Light and Heat of Dorothy L. Sayers' Jesus" Lumen, Winter 2020. Read it here.

  • "Sayers' Wartime Writing." Kathryn Wehr Blog.  April 6, 2020.  Read it here. Watch a related video story here.

  • "More Than a Stained Glass Window Jesus." Benedictine Center Blog. February 4, 2020.  Read it here.

  • “The Psalms Hidden in the Slang: Sayers’ radio plays on the life of Christ.” The Church Times (24 March 2017). Read it here.

  • “Hearing Visual Art in Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Man Born to be King.” Transpositions: Theology, Imagination & the Arts. 2016. Read it here.

Other Research

Art Notes for Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 

  • "A Haven for Grief in William Dyce's St John Leading Home his Adopted Mother.Logos 26.2 (2023-forthcoming).

  • "Fall and Apocalypse in the Painting of Benjamin West." Logos 26.1 (2023). Read it here.

  • "Letting Art Become Prayer in the Work of Fr. Dunstan Massey, OSB, of Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC." Logos 25.4 (2022). Read it here.

  • "Awakening Our Liturgical Imaginations with La Bretagne Mystique by Hippolyte Dominique Berteaux."  Logos 25.3 (2022). Read it here.

Art Reflections for the St . Thomas Lumen Magazine

  • "The Stained-glass Windows of the Albertus Magnus Chapel" Lumen, Spring 2023 (forthcoming).

  • "Transformed into Light: A Reflection on William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Temptation." Lumen, Fall/Winter 2022. Read it here.

Spirituality and Creative Writing

  • "From Augustine to Benedict: Interviews with the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary." American Benedictine Review 74.1 (2023).

  • "A St Joseph Testimonial" Mount Carmel; a Review of the Spiritual Life 69.1 (2021). Find it here. Watch the video story here.

  • "Contemplation, With Lettuce" Mount Carmel; a Review of the Spiritual Life 67.4 (2019).  Find it here. Watch the video story here.

  • “A Pilgrimage Together.” with Brittany Bump Blanski. Presence; An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 19.1 (2013).​


Church History and Eastern Orthodoxy

  • "The Pentecost Liturgy as a Call to Unity and Mission.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 59.2 (2015).

  • Booklet: Singleness and the Early Church Grove Books – Spirituality Series (UK), December 2012. Find it here.

  • “Virginity, Singleness and Celibacy; Late Fourth Century and Recent Evangelical Visions of Unmarried Christians.” Theology and Sexuality 17.1 (2011).

  • “The Orthodox Bioethics of Cremation.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 55.4 (2011). 

  • “Understanding Ritual Purity and Sin in the Churching of Women; From Ontological to Pedagogical to Eschatological.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 55.1 (2011). 

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