Pandora, Ken Wilber, and William Blake

Ali at Meadowsweet & Myrrh has written a thoughtful and perceptive post in response to my review of Avatar that unfolds out into her own nuanced review of the movie. I would commend this to anyone who reads my blog. Here are my admittedly rambling and random thoughts in response to her articulate writing. Hopefully these thoughts, disjointed as they might be, can stimulate even further reflection and conversation for those who choose to read them. … [Read more...]

Grace and the Goddess: AVATAR as a Christian/Pagan Parable

James Cameron's new film, Avatar, tells a story we've all heard before; as I commented on Twitter last night, it is Dances with Wolves meets Star Trek: Insurrection, with elements of The Matrix and Whale Rider thrown in. But Avatar is grander and more epic than any of these films, and of course, it's a stunning achievement of CGI artistry. For its sheer beauty, go see it. But critics are whining that the story is "weak" or "boring" and I think they're rather justified in their gripes. … [Read more...]

Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves

Ken Wilber describes a significant malaise of our time as "boomeritis." What he means by this is the tendency among highly educated and self-actualized persons (as typified by the baby boomer generation) to embrace values that include pluralism, egalitarianism, subjective/personal understandings of truth, and a general "live and let live" ethos, but that often appears marred by egocentrism, narcissism, and self-absorption. In other words, a laudable value system that promotes freedom of … [Read more...]

That which is different

My brother Don and I were chatting this morning, and I mentioned an evangelical friend of mine who has a "secret" interest in Catholic mysticism. Don, who describes himself as an "agnostic hedonist," made the following fascinating observation: You know, the evangelical movement could do so much good, but people's fear of that which is different just screws things up. Now, in their defense, the fear of "that which is different" is not unique to evangelicals (or to Christians in general). In fact, … [Read more...]

Finding the Monk Within

Finding the Monk Within: Great Monastic Values for Today By Edward C. Sellner Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanEd Sellner is known primarily for his writing on various aspects of the Celtic Christian spiritual tradition (such as Wisdom of the Celtic Saints). And indeed, one of the most beautifully written chapters in Finding the Monk Within concerns Brigid of Kildare, well known as an Irish saint but also remarkable for being the Abbess of a mixed gender monastery. But in … [Read more...]

Christianity, Islam & Buddhism (or, Two Conversations)

I had two conversations yesterday with two different people. While on the surface they seem to be entirely different conversations concerning different matters, on reflection I see that they are two aspects of the same discourse. They both involved the question of how Christianity (and individual Christians) ought to be relating to other religious traditions (and the practitioners of those traditions). Here's what happened:First, someone forwarded to my wife an alarmist video about projected … [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...]


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