Cloister Talks

Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks By Jon M. Sweeney Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2009 Review by Carl McColmanMonasteries are archetypal. Even for Protestants who live in a religious milieu that does not include monastic communities, monks and nuns (and their communal way of life) symbolize either strong positive or negative concepts: at worst, they represent religious decadence or hypocrisy, no doubt a lingering after-effect of the hostilities of the reformation era or the … [Read more...]

What I’m reading right now…

I always enjoy finding out what people are reading. So I thought I'd share with the world what's on my nightstand right now. It's actually an uncharacteristically short stack of books. When I'm in hardcore writing mode, I might have 30 or more books going at a time, but my current list is only a fraction of that. Here goes (in no particular order):Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron Monastic Practices by Charles Cummings, OCSO Thomas Merton: Essential Writings selected with … [Read more...]

Beloved Dust

Beloved Dust: Tides of the Spirit in the Christian Life By Robert Davis Hughes, III New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanI’ve quoted from this wonderful book more than once in this blog. Now the time has come to write a more in-depth review of it. First, a disclaimer: I’ve known Bob Hughes since the late 1980s, when I managed the campus bookstore at Sewanee: The University of the South where Bob teaches theology. I learned a lot from Bob back then, and … [Read more...]

Twenty Books I Want to Read

I've been tagged in yet another Facebook meme. This one asks me to list fifteen books that I would like to read. That seems to be a pretty cool list to draw up; in fact, it seemed worthy enough to publish to my blog as well as to Facebook. Of course, fifteen seemed impossible, so I have taken the liberty of listing twenty books.So here goes. This list is presented alphabetically by title, and of course it represents only a tiny fraction of the books on my "to read" list. If you want to read … [Read more...]

No conviction?

Here on the eve of the sacred Triduum — the three high holy days of Christianity, encompassing Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday culminating in the Great Vigil of Easter — I find myself, as a writer, especially challenged by these words of Peter Rollins, from his forthcoming book The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales (which you can buy directly from the publisher or from Amazon). Read them for yourself — and ponder how they might apply to your life...No ConvictionIn a … [Read more...]

Kindle My Affection, Please!

Just in case anyone out there in cyber-land wants to give your humble blogger a Valentine's Day present, may I suggest a Kindle 2?  I know a lot of people disagree with me, but I believe this is the future of publishing. You can put 1500 books on it, for heaven's sake. A library in the palm of your hand. Think about it.I'm not asking you to buy me one of these babies (although if you do, I'll be most grateful!). Just buy yourself one — using this link. Or buy two : one for yourself and  one f … [Read more...]

Buying my books

I've received a request as to the easiest place to find all my books. The answer, of course, is Amazon... and to make it easier on anyone who wants to buy my books, here's a link you can use:, please use this link -- if you make a purchase through that link (of any Amazon product, not just books by me), I'll get a wee little commission. Help an undernourished writer, the next time you shop at Amazon! You'll be glad you did. :-)Just to make it fun, … [Read more...]