“Icons in Transformation”: Ludmila Pawlowska

Powerful images of the Passion. … [Read more...]

Voices from the Fire: Medieval Jewish Martyr Laments

Part of my Lenten reading was Susan L. Einbinder's Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France. It's a very readable adapted thesis which makes a few arguments--for example, that Jewish martyr laments shifted over time from proclaiming God's covenant with the community, to depicting individual transformation of the martyrs; that the laments shift from emphasizing demographic diversity to exalting scholars as a sort of martyr elite; and that the laments show the degree to … [Read more...]

“Punk Rocker Rescues Ancient Christian Music”

I keep forgetting to post this: ...He quickly began to focus on Aleppo, the largest city in Syria and home to many of its Jews, as well as its Syriac Orthodox and Armenian Christians. The city, which may be one of the oldest continuously settled places in the world, has also seen the most destruction of any Syrian city in the present conflict.The music he documented has, in many cases, never been written down, much less recorded with professional equipment. Some of the hymns date back … [Read more...]

“Jesuits Offer Spiritual Retreats for the Homeless”

from Jesuits.org: It all began in Chicago in 1998 when Jesuit Father Bill Creed was asked by his provincial to find a way to make the Spiritual Exercises available to the economically disadvantaged. Along with Ed Shurna, executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Fr. Creed developed a format for providing Ignatian retreats to men and women who are homeless and in recovery from addiction.Today the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) is a national network with overnight … [Read more...]

“Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend of Family Member?”: I’m in the current Christianity Today

subscribers-only for now. I'm one of four respondents (the others are Peter Ould, Lisa Severine Nolland, and Sherif Girgis) and the only "yes." It's a more-conciliatory but also more tightly-written version of the answer I give in my book. … [Read more...]

“In Cana of Galilee”: PEG

old post well worth revisiting: This initiation of the miracle by Mary is not just an illustration of the importance of women. It also parallels another story, from the Old Testament: that of Eve, who drives Adam to eat the apple. The miracle of Cana shows that, just as Jesus is the New Adam, Mary the Immaculate is the New Eve. Just as Eve had to push Adam to act, Mary pushes Jesus into the world, not simply by giving birth, but also by initiating his public life. What a powerful symbol, that … [Read more...]

“Marilynne Robinson Returns to Gilead”: I review “Lila”

at AmCon--I think this piece turned out well: Ten years ago Marilynne Robinson began telling us the story of Gilead, Iowa, a tiny town surrounded by fields and farms. A droplet of water in which the whole world is reflected.She began with Gilead, a novel in the form of a long letter written from the dying John Ames to his young son. Ames situates the town in its historical context, showing how this apparently all-white enclave nonetheless falls under the shadow of racism, from the Civil War … [Read more...]


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