Is God dead? Or perhaps just hiding?

Today I had an unexpected treat — theologian Thomas J. J. Altizer, renowned (some would say notorious) in the 1960s because of his association with the "Death of God" controversy, visited the monastery and stopped by the Abbey Store. Although I can't claim to be that well read in regard to his work, I do have a sense that his notion of "Christian atheism" may have many points of connection with my notion of "holy agnosis" and, of course, the apophatic tradition within Christian mysticism. A … [Read more...]

Back to the Mountain

Fran and I spent this past weekend in Sewanee, TN. "The Mountain," as it is affectionately called, is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, a college town on the Cumberland Plateau nestled in forested land filled with caves, hiking trails, waterfalls, a natural bridge, and other wonders.It's the first time we've been back since my friend Bob's funeral, back in February of 2009. I lived in Sewanee from 1988 to 1993, running the campus bookstore at the University of the South. I left … [Read more...]

Preach it, Brother Stephen!

This was on Facebook the other day (thanks to Jack G. for posting it!). … [Read more...]

Four interesting articles

I've recently read four interesting articles online.In Spiritual but Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me, UCC Minister Lillian Daniel takes aim at those who reject traditional religious affiliation but who retain a sense of themselves as "spiritual" beings. She sees such a position as shallow and narcissistic, and suggests that such persons find themselves more "fascinating" than ancient religions, but in truth such self-centered thinking is ultimately "bland." In response, Religious … [Read more...]

“Eleven years of Catholic education had told me nothing about Christian meditation.”

Here's an interesting article published the other day in the Utah Statesman by a fellow named Michael Sowder: Finding Home in India. The author tells the story of his spiritual journey, and it's a story I've heard again and again. Basically, it runs like this: born into a Christian family, Sowder (and countless others like him) finds himself befuddled by the sterile Christian education he received as a child. Eventually he  goes on to find meaning and insight in contemplative spirituality … [Read more...]

Some New Books to Explore

If this were an ideal world and I had all the time in the universe to do everything I would like, I'd be reading all sorts of books — and writing lengthy reviews of many of them on this blog. But, alas, ours is not an ideal world, and so like everyone else I have to make do. And so, in that spirit of making do, here are a few brief comments about some interesting books that have come to my attention lately. Some of them are new and some have been around for a while, but I think they are all w … [Read more...]

Writing the Icon of the Heart

Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding By Maggie Ross Abingdon, UK: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2011Almost twenty years ago I read Maggie Ross's wonderful book on the theology of priesthood, Pillars of Flame: Power, Priesthood and Spiritual Maturity. Not only was it a valuable book in helping me to affirm my ministry as a lay Christian, but it also struck me as one of the most lyrical and eloquent statements of Christian spirituality in general that I had ever read. Yes, that is … [Read more...]


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