Into Great Silence

Into Great Silence A Film by Philip Gröning Zeitgeist Video, 2005 Review by Carl McColman Into Great Silence finally opened in Atlanta last night. And while advance buzz and personal anticipation for an upcoming film can lead to disappointment (anyone remember the collective horror that descended across America the summer of 1999 when The Phantom Menace turned out to be so mediocre?), I am pleased to report that this is a film that exceeded my expectations. In fact, at the risk of being a tad … [Read more...]

New Life for Old Interviews

From 1997 to 2001 I was a buyer for the New Leaf Company, a wholesaler of Mind/Body/Spirit books, music, and gift merchandise. New Leaf publishes a trade magazine/catalog called New Leaves, which would feature book excerpts, interviews, and industry news. During my tenure at New Leaf I conducted a number of interviews for the magazine; I've just posted three of my favorites to this website. Follow the links and enjoy. Where No One or Nothing is Excluded — I interviewed Irish poet and … [Read more...]


Static: Tune Out the "Christian Noise" and Experience the Real Message of Jesus By Ron Martoia Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2007 Review by Carl McColman Kind of an inverse Screwtape Letters, this book is built around a charming story line in which author Martoia, an evangelical preacher and Bible teacher, counsels his good friends Jess and Phil on the art of Christian witnessing here in the colorful wilderness of the thoroughly postmodern twenty-first century. What quickly … [Read more...]

Translating Julian

Every morning as part of our daily devotions, my wife and I recite the following prayer from chapter five of Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love as translated by M. L. del Mastro: God, of your goodness, give me yourself, for you are enough for me. I can ask for nothing less that is completely to your honor, and if I do ask anything less, I shall always be in want. Only in you I have all. Last night at the Atlanta Julian Meeting, the group members discussed using this prayer to close … [Read more...]

Read my new blog

Just a reminder to folks: I have a new blog called "The Cloud and the Hazelnut," and you can find it here:mccolman.wordpress.comYou can also access my blog via my new "Mysticism Bibliography" page at www.anamchara.comCheers! … [Read more...]

YouTube Goes Monastic

A fellow named Greg who's affiliated with a group called the Rosary Army recently unleashed the following video on YouTube. It shows him walking around the Monastery of the Holy Spirit (and includes a quick shot of the store where I work). Incidentally, the peacocks that he refers to originally belonged to Flannery O'Connor, who aside from being one of the greatest Southern writers of the twentieth century was also a peacock farmer — and a friend of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit (which … [Read more...]

We want clean energy in the South!

If you live in Georgia — or if you care about preventing the proliferation of nuclear power — the following message which I just received from my friend and environmental activist Stephen Wing will be of interest to you. Please: don't just read this... take action once you do. Greetings, friends – A few years back, Georgia Power dropped its incentive programs for energy conservation among its customers. Now it is proposing a new long-range plan that contains virtually no provision for … [Read more...]

Four Authors You Need to Know

Just as it's so important to have a good commentary on the Bible to enhance your enjoyment of (and spiritual nurture by) scripture, so it's also important to supplement your reading of the great mystics with scholarly books that provide insight into the theological and cultural backstories that inform the essential mystical writings of the Christian tradition. With this in mind, here are four authors that I think every student of mysticism ought to know: their writings provide a wealth of … [Read more...]

Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church

Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church: Eyewitness Accounts of How American Churches are Hijacking Jesus, Bagging the Beatitudes, and Worshiping the Almighty Dollar By Becky Garrison San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2006 Review by Carl McColman During my sophomore year of college in one of my literature classes, my professor, Dr. Cohen, gave out an optional assignment: we were reading Jonathan Swift, and so the assignment was to write a satire. But, he warned: composing a worthy satire is no easy … [Read more...]

Virginia Tech

I'm a Virginia boy who graduated from James Madison and George Mason Universities. But one of my earliest childhood memories involved my family piling in the car to take my brother, fourteen years older than me, off to his freshman year at Virginia Tech. That was just one year before a depressed graduate student climbed the clocktower at the University of Texas with several guns and killed 14 people before the police finished him off; which was, up until Monday, the worst campus shooting in … [Read more...]