“Tom Stoppard Plays With God”: I’m in AmCon

reviewing a new play: “The Hard Problem” is Tom Stoppard’s first work for the stage since 2006′s fantastic “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and like “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” it asks whether there’s such a thing as a soul, or whether a human being is just “a pinball machine which thinks it’s in love.”But where the earlier play offered a clash between Marxist materialism and the pagan ecstasy of rock music, “The Hard Problem” is a more blunt and programmatic conflict between evolutionary biology and a sort of heavily … [Read more...]

Penitence in Easter: Great Post by an Anglican Bishop

...The New Testament suggests that there is nothing more paschal in character, nothing more closely aligned with the great transitus of Jesus’ death and resurrection, than the transitional moment represented by our repentance and God’s forgiveness, which brings new life out of the death we’ve constructed for ourselves.Rowan Williams noted in his book Resurrection that the disciples’ experience of resurrection was inextricably linked to their own desertion of him and their failure as his frien … [Read more...]

“Who Dares to Say That Love Is Like the War?”: A Gay, Catholic Poet in the 20th Century

I don't want to be tokenistic but I'm betting the best way to get you to read this terrific article is to show you these paragraphs: In the meantime both men underwent a private transformation. Thompson had abandoned Catholicism at Harvard, though he had never entirely renounced the faith. In 1952 he told his lover (who had been raised an Anglican) that he wanted to practice the Catholic faith again. Trower was initially taken by surprise, but six months later he followed Thompson into the … [Read more...]

Mother, Church: A Gay Catholic Life

This is an interview I did with my friend Peter. I wanted to talk to him because he's lived through a tumultuous period in Church and American history and come through with his faith and sunny disposition basically intact. How does somebody end up as a faithful, practicing, openly gay Catholic in his 50s? (Warning: The answer is pretty long! This is a super-long post really.)I met with Peter in his apartment. The background for our conversation was the sound of opera arias and Cole Porter … [Read more...]

“Common Hells, Private Heavens”: I’m in Commonweal

reviewing a show at the National Museum of African Art: I’m sitting in hell with a couple of little boys, who are trying to prove they’re not scared. We’re watching a cloth-wrapped figure prostrate itself and bang its fists against the floor, as sobs and wordless singing give way to a howled “I, I, I surrender!” Behind us stretches a huge black coiling thing that looks like a well-fed python. “It’s just a video,” one kid says in a subdued voice.We’re in the depths of the National Museum of A … [Read more...]

From Edward P. Jones, “Common Law”

"You know, I don't know what's become of you," Idabelle said."I could say the same bout you." He took a beer from the icebox, needing something to do with his hands because he knew his were the greater sins. --in All Aunt Hagar's Children … [Read more...]

Gregorio Allegri, “Miserere”

The choir at St Matthew's sang this at Tenebrae last night. Amazing.And with that, I'm out. See you on the flip side. … [Read more...]


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