Faculty Profile


Doug Thorpe

Professor Emeritus of English

Email: dthorpe@spu.edu

Education: PhD, University of Washington
Specialties: Romanticism, world literature, American ethnic literature

Doug Thorpe grew up in Oak Park Illinois in the shadow of Ernest Hemingway’s boyhood home. After an undergraduate career at Beloit College in Wisconsin he headed west for graduate school at the University of Washington, where his love of William Blake and the Christian contemplative tradition somehow managed to coexist with a newly awakened love of the mountains — a combination that bore mysterious fruit some years later in his book Rapture of the Deep: Reflections on the Wild in Art, Wilderness and the Sacred, which won the David Family Environmental Book Award. 

After teaching in the Midwest for five years, Dr. Thorpe returned to Seattle in 1988 and has managed to fit in backpacking trips with his wife and daughter pretty much every summer since. A member of St. Mark’s (Episcopal) Cathedral, Dr. Thorpe has been active on the vestry (the lay governing body), has taught and helped to direct Adult Education and Spiritual Formation, and has served the diocese as a spiritual director. He has served on the Executive Committee for a National Episcopal Environmental Conference, which featured Katherine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. After helping to lead a spiritual/environmental pilgrimage to the Holy Land in January 2009 with the nonprofit group Earth Ministry, he worked extensively on the Sabeel Conference hosted by the Cathedral in February 2010, entitled “The United States, Israel and Palestine: What Does Justice Require of US?” 

When not in Seattle, he’s most likely to be found up at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat and educational center in the Cascade Mountains, where he has taught over the summer for the past two years.

Selected Publications

  • A New Earth: Building in Metaphor in The Pearl, Herbert’s Temple and Blake’s Jerusalem
  • Work and the Life of the Spirit (an anthology)
  • Rapture of the Deep: Reflections on the Wild in Art, Wilderness and the Sacred