The Hillbilly Thomists

Published in 1952, Wise Blood is a Southern Gothic novel by Catholic author Flannery O’Connor. Many early critics interpreted the work as a tale of despair and darkness. In a 1955 response to one letter writer, O’Connor objected: “Everybody who has read Wise Bloodthinks I’m a hillbilly nihilist, whereas I would like to create the impression . . . that I’m a hillbilly Thomist.

Thus was born the name of a banjo-bearing band of bluegrass-loving brothers.

The Hillbilly Thomists are a group of Dominicans friars (ten brothers, of whom two are priests) belonging to the Province of St. Joseph and living at their Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. It is also the title of the group’s CD released last month (available here).
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