Philip Hefner waited to his eighth decade on the planet to publish his first book of poetry, appropriately titled A Matter of Waiting: Poems of My Day, released in late June by Wipf and Stock.

Readers of Covalence are familiar with Hefner’s poetic work, which has been published on our site previously. A recent example is his take on Stephen Hawking. Many of Hefner’s friends on social media too have come to expect Hefner’s poetic take on recent events as well.

In the book, he pays homage to favorite poets — Gerard Manley Hopkins and Wallace Stevens. The theme however is one of hope despite one’s circumstances.

A professor of systematic theology emeritus at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Hefner’s well known for his leadership of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science and his groundbreaking work as editor of the Zygon Journal of Religion and Science.

He succeeded Karl E. Peters as editor of the Zygon Journal. “Masterful, reflective poetry from a remarkable life,” Peters said of the poetry volume. “Hefner draws on faith and science — and most of all on his own fractured being. A help to all of us as we deal with deep issues in our own lives. I will read, reflect on, and savor these poems over and over again.”

While a book tour is not likely to happen, Hefner has had limited speaking engagements via Zoom with the annual IRAS Conference in recent weeks.


Susan Barreto


Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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