“Are ‘Vowed Friendships’ Really What We Need?”: Wesley Hill

rounds up some links. Comments also worth reading; I'm most sympathetic to the first comment, but others raise important points, including the stuff I talked about in that "Captive Virgins" post:As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I wrote an article for Christianity Today on friendship, basically making the case that we ought to be able to think of our Christian friendships as more significant, committed, public, and permanent than we usually do. Well, since then, Matthew Lee Anderson has … [Read more...]

Wedding Crowns and Solidarity in Struggle: A “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

I've been to two Orthodox Christian weddings so far, and my favorite part of them is the crowns. Both bride and groom are crowned during the ceremony. As with the breaking of the glass in a Jewish wedding (probably also my favorite part, though the chair-bouncing which terrified my father at my sister's wedding may take first place there) I'm guessing there are multiple meanings to this symbol, but the one I've heard most often is that these are the crowns of martyrdom. They're meant to remind … [Read more...]

“A Lonely Hearts Church”: I review a new Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catechesis on Family Life

for AmCon: Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a slim volume, more of an overgrown pamphlet, prepared for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. It’s meant to lay out Catholic beliefs about vocation, sex, and family life in a way that acknowledges and responds creatively to contemporary challenges. It contains discussion questions to make it easy to use in ministries, book clubs etc. This is what outspoken Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and his team think is most important … [Read more...]

“In Between Insomnia and Scandinavia”: Gorgeous Paintings Inspired by Norwegian Family Novels

via Matt Frost. TMN:You’ve said the novel trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter was an inspiration for this latest series. Are you depicting scenes from the books, or something else?Carson Ellis:I read Kristin Lavransdatter for a long time. I took breaks between the three books to read other things, but I was sort of plodding through it on and off for nearly a year. For people who don’t know: It’s set in medieval Norway, written by Sigrid Undset in the ’20s, meticulously researched, sort of … [Read more...]

Self-Abboting: Sin or Vice? A Very Small “Gay and Catholic” Book Extra

Chris Roberts has this thing I like, where he points out that our modern concept of being "single" is not really supported by Christian theology or historical practice. Even when we try to delineate ways that "single people" can love and serve, such as friendship, we start with the unmarried individual as an autonomous unit and seek to Lego this unit onto other units. (...Uh, I'm not liking this image. Retreat.) The celibate "single" or layperson is weird--the norm for celibate people is … [Read more...]

It’s Called AltFem, Not CtrlFem: An Eccentric Report

Yesterday I went to the launch of AltFem, a new magazine from the people who brought you AltMuslimah and AltCatholicah, which explores the intersection of feminism and what I suppose we must call "traditional" faith. It was a religiously diverse event--lots of headscarves; several babies! I spoke on the first panel, about forging a more inclusive feminism. I'm going to do at least one more post inspired by the event, which will be on an underexplored aspect of Mary's role as model of motherhood, … [Read more...]

AltFem Magazine Launch Party: I’m There! Tomorrow!

I'm on the first panel at this conference/party to launch "an online magazine that seeks an inclusive definition of feminism that resonates with women of faith." Uh, I'm not actually a feminist, but I hope to talk about the problems with the concept of "empowerment" as a goal--basically riffing on the issues I raised in this book review. Hope to see many of you there! … [Read more...]


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