Time Considered As a Helix of Grimy Fingernail Clippings: Samuel R. Delany’s Weirdly Prescient “Driftglass”

I just finished reading a collection of Samuel R. Delany's short stories and novellas from the mid- to late-'60s, Driftglass (link is to the copy I bought at BookMarx, with the ultra-cheesy fishman cover), and man, I always forget just how good his best work is. Here's a rundown of what's in this collection."The Star-Pit": The first story is by far the best--worth the price of admission for this alone. It's startlingly contemporary. It's a story about working-class men and their longing for … [Read more...]

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“Friendship with a Future Tense”: I review Wesley Hill’s great new book

for AmCon: Most of the art and literature of friendship is elegiac. From Montaigne to Marsden Hartley, from St. Aelred to Andrew Sullivan, from elegant tribute to anguished lament, our art of friendship is haunted by the death of friends. ...Part of what makes my friend Wesley Hill’s slender new book so intriguing is that it is an attempt to give an account of friendship that is grounded in history, theology, and literature—yet forward-looking. Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Chu … [Read more...]

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Two Links About Wesley Hill’s Fabulous New Book “Spiritual Friendship”

Oh so much more on this book from me coming soon!First, Wes is interviewed by Jonathan Merritt for RNS: RNS: Let’s start with the foundation. How do you define friendship in a sentence or two?WH: According to Christian writers of the past, spiritual or Christ-centered friendship—the kind of friendship I’m writing about—is a bond between two (or more) people who feel affection for each other. But it’s also a bond that has a trajectory. It’s a relationship that’s about helping one another … [Read more...]

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“Choose to Stay” (Or, Virtute the Cat Contemplates Her City)

One reason I love the Weakerthans is that their songs are set in their hometown. The louder you yell “I Hate Winnipeg” the more I know which city holds your heart. So let's listen to "Reunion Tour" and get emotional. Welcome to Washington, DC! The local time is 1987. Like every other week I meet somebody who says, “Oh, wow, I've never met anybody from DC before.” Guess these people's race! I meet people from DC all the time; you can probably guess their race, too. (I think I've been a gentrif … [Read more...]

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“Downwardly Mobile for Jesus”: Al-Jazeera America

from 2014, but well worth your time now: ...For people like Loftus, it’s not coffee shops or home values drawing them to places like Sandtown. It’s Jesus. Shortly after Loftus started medical school in Baltimore in 2007, he began worshipping at New Song Community Church, a racially diverse congregation in Sandtown. New Song is part of the same Presbyterian denomination as the church Loftus and his 14 siblings attended as children in Harford County, Maryland, 40 minutes outside the city.New S … [Read more...]

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“Welcome to Gibtown, The Last ‘Freakshow’ Town in America”: The Guardian

on the social construction and theology of disability, sort of: For those who didn’t quite fit elsewhere, Gibtown was a utopia. Its first settlers, the Giant, and his wife, the Half-Woman, ran a campsite, a bakeshop and the fire department. The post office catered to little people with extra-low counters, and the beer hall had custom-built chairs for the Fat Ladies and the Tallest Man. Special zoning regulations allowed residents to keep and train exotic animals in their gardens. Siamese-twin s … [Read more...]

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“Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?”: Now open to non-subscribers

at Christianity Today:When I became a Christian, most of my friends and family were baffled and disappointed. They could not understand why I was subjecting myself to a repressive falsehood. Sure, the church’s paintings are nice, but what about the ethics? That’s why it was so moving to me that my best friend came to my baptism. She gamely let the priests shake holy water over her; she kept a wry, silent smile on her face while everybody else renounced Satan. I was under no illusion that she … [Read more...]

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