Stuff Melkites Like

Like “fundie” and “papist,” the label “Melkite” began as an insult. Deriving from the Arabic and Syriac words for “royal” or “imperial,” it was coined by Syriac and Armenian dissenters to poke fun at those Christians who accepted the dictates of the government-approved Council of Chalcedon. Its meaning boiled down to “those who kiss the [Read More...]

My Shemagh and Me

A couple of days ago, I became the owner of a shemagh. A shemagh is the Jordanian version of the kefiyeh, or cloth headdress worn by Arab men. I would say the proud owner, but I have a sense of having come by it in a less than strictly honorable way. If I couldn’t have [Read More...]

Heaven in the Jungle: A Visit to the Jordan

Here’s one fact about Bethabara, or Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, the narrow plot of desert real estate where Elijah was assumed into heaven, where John the Baptist proclaimed the Kingdom of God, and where he baptized Jesus: it’s rustic. You’ll see bees buzzing in thickets of reeds hemmed in by bare rock mesas. You’ll see the domes of [Read More...]