From Francis Spufford, “Unapologetic”

You discover that repetition itself, curiously, is not the enemy of spontaneity, but maybe even its enabler.  Saying the same prayers again and again, pacing your body again and again through the set movements of faith, somehow helps keep the door ajar through which He may come.  The words may strike you as ecclesiastical blah nine times in ten, or ninety-nine times in a hundred, and then be transformed, and then have the huge fresh wind blowing through them into your little closed room.  And me … [Read more...]

Recognition is a feeling. Especially if you’re in “ElfQuest.”

So now I've read the entire Grauniad article from which that Francis Spufford quote was pulled. A couple thoughts: 1. The bit Alan Jacobs quoted was the best bit.2. The opening is much too long, and seems whiny. Possibly in Britain this comes across as extended self-deprecating humor?3. Spufford seems to be conflating a few things. When he says that "emotions" are the form and substance of his faith, I think he means both recognition--he recognizes in Christianity something shaped the … [Read more...]

From Francis Spufford’s new book

and I like this passage, but I'm mostly posting it because whoa, the guy who wrote the terrific I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination also writes fiction and cultural criticism! Why wasn't I told. The atheist bus says: “There’s probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life.” All right: which word here is the questionable one, the aggressive one, the one that parts company with recognisable human experience so fast it doesn’t even have time to wave goodbye? It isn’t “probabl … [Read more...]


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