Aleppo

Aleppo, Syria Jan. 29, 2013 This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Revolution Against Assad’s Regime which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows dead bodies on a street. Syrian activists say at least 65 bodies, some of them with their hands tied behind their back, found on a river [Read More...]

Sur le motif: The Paintings of Paul Cézanne

  Last week, after finishing Alex Danchev’s stunning biography, Cézanne: A Life (Pantheon, 2012), I  flew to New York to see some of Cézanne’s paintings at the Museum of Modern Art. This is not exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from an evangelical on staff at a conservative Presbyterian church in South Florida. [Read More...]

The End of Evil and Escape from Planet Earth

On the plane today I was reading Marjorie Suchocki’s The End of Evil. A friendly flight attendant, while pouring my coffee, noticed the book title. “The end of evil?” she said. Do you think there’s going to be an end to evil? “Well…yes…I believe that. I certainly hope for it,” I responded (probably with a measured academic [Read More...]

Area Codes

  Whenever I call someone with Caller ID (which would be everybody these days), they’ll see my 617-Boston area code flash on their screen even though I now reside in Minneapolis. It explains why most of my local calls go straight to voice mail. Who in Minneapolis would be getting a call from Boston? These days, with [Read More...]

The Poetics (and Theology) of Painting

Last week I concluded a four-part series over at  Good Letters, the blog of IMAGE Journal. Entitled “The Poetics of Painting,” I explore four foundational aspects of painting as a studio practice: the relationship of the artist and her intentions to the work of art; the pictorial dynamics on the surface of a painting; the [Read More...]

A Murderous Monster’s Weapons Stash

How easy is it for an average citizen to acquire an arsenal of assault rifles and high powered hand guns in our country? So easy, even a convicted murderer who has been institutionalized for insanity can acquire a weapons permit, and then collect a stash of them (see the pic) over a period of years. [Read More...]

Manti Te’o and the Construction of Identity in the Digital Age

Many are waiting with anticipation to hear from Manti Te’o either an explanation or a confession–or perhaps a bit of both. Is he a victim or a perpetrator of a national hoax? Was he drawn into a relationship with a phantom–an avatar playing a role–or did he construct a false relationship in order to further [Read More...]

Livewrong

So Lance is finally coming clean, as it were, about doping it up in order to get up those mountains over and over again on his way to his seven former Tour de France titles. Now after being outted by his buddies and banished by his nemeses, he does what any celebrity does when he’s [Read More...]

Theology & the Arts

  Over the last few months, Christopher Brewer has devoted several blog posts to my theological approach to art over at Transpositions, a collaborative on-line project of students associated with the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. He reviewed several of my blog posts here at Patheos as well as God in the [Read More...]

Why I Teach (With Help From Parker Palmer)

I’m back in the teaching game after a sabbatical. In some ways, it’s hard to gear up–I was getting used to a leisurely life of research, writing, and coffee drinking. But in many other ways, it’s good to be back. It’s certainly caused me to reflect a bit on the teaching craft–and why I do [Read More...]


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