Seamus Heaney reads “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”

I'm sad to learn of the death of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, who has been called Ireland's most important poet since W. B. Yeats. Among the many treasures in  his body of work, I especially love "St. Kevin and the Blackbird" which we can see the poet reading in the following video. This was on the occasion of Heaney's 70th birthday and his publisher's 80th anniversary; with that in mind, his comments at the beginning of the video before reading the poem are well said, and quite important in … [Read more...]

Something I wrote for Amazon.com

Amazon.com offers authors the chance to write something personal about their book(s) to appear on Amazon's website. This morning I finally wrote such a statement for The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. I thought I may as well post it here, so readers of this blog could enjoy it as well. The following text should be published within the next few days on The Big Book of Christian Mysticism's page under the heading "From the Author." When I was eighteen years old, a friend of mine loaned me a copy … [Read more...]

Dana Greene speaks on Evelyn Underhill

Here are a couple of videos, courtesy of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, featuring Dana Greene speaking about Evelyn Underhill. … [Read more...]

Unknowing in 2011

There are changes afoot here at the Website of Unknowing, and I thought my dear readers would like to know a bit about what I have planned.First of all, I'm working toward giving the site a new look. Not much to say on this front, except that I'll be working with one of the leading designers of websites for authors, and am very excited at the prospect of giving the site a facelift — which, hopefully, will make it more consistent with the overall message I  hope to convey.Secondly, I'm lo … [Read more...]

On the Perils of Translation

A friend of mine (who prefers to remain anonymous) who blogs about Middle-English word studies related to The Cloud of Unknowing has posted a wonderful and thought-provoking meditation On Translation. He considers the challenge of living in a society where the market pretty much decides what does and doesn't get published, which means that some pretty dicey translations (and paraphrases) of literary and sacred texts end up getting disseminated.He uses Rumi as a case study, and his attack on … [Read more...]

Read an excerpt from my new book!

Paraclete Press, the publisher of my new book on the spiritual lessons from Narnia, has posted a generous excerpt from the book in PDF format online. Please take a moment to read it — and if you find it entertaining or useful, I hope you'll order a copy (or three) for yourself or to give away.Click here to read an excerpt of The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader.Click here to order The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader from Amazon.com. … [Read more...]

Silence & Writer’s Block

I have a friend who is struggling to complete a dissertation. Entire days can go by without writing a single sentence. Sitting at the computer is an exercise in fear and frustration.To say my friend has writer's block is — well, you know, just another label. But like so many labels, it has a measure of usefulness. It's interesting to read the Wikipedia entry on Writer's Block. It describes the condition not only as the inability to write, but also "as the affected writer viewing their work as i … [Read more...]


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