“The Specificities of Friendship”: Wesley Hill

asks for your help: ...There’s a certain irony, of course, about pursuing friendship, since, as C. S. Lewis notes, “The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends.” Sadly, and this is borne out in my experience, the times when someone is most desperate for friendship may be the times when it is hardest to find. And that’s why I’m interested in what’s implicit in Karen’s comment—that most of us are already involved in certain … [Read more...]

“Odd-Numbered Hospitality”: Wesley Hill

writes: ...What strikes me, in retrospect, is how easy it would have been for her to have invited mainly other single people to her after-church meals. With other single guests, there would have been more opportunity to talk about common interests and habits, and she certainly could have avoided some of the messes that young children create. But I’m grateful she didn’t, because I now have at least one strong, happy memory of it seeming like the most normal thing in the world for a single … [Read more...]

Monday Links: More Atonement! Plus Interrupting Violence, Texification of the Church in America, and More

Hey! Here's what I've been reading: Leah Libresco asks for stories of atonement and tells a Jewish fable (which I've heard attributed to St Philip Neri!--and more on that in a powerful short piece here). The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange on "The Art of Interrupting Deadly Youth Violence": "'One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the years and years and years of confirmation that nothing can change,' Achisimach 'Chis' Yisrael, a former SOS Outreach Worker, said, seated behind … [Read more...]

Wesley Hill on Robinson’s “Home”

here; and definitely spoilerous for the overall mood of the book's ending: Imagine that someone failed and disgraced came back to his family, and they grieved with him, and took his sadness upon themselves, and sat down together to ponder the mysteries of human life. This is… human and beautiful, I propose, even if it yields no dulling of pain, no patching of injuries. Perhaps it is the calling of some families to console, because intractable grief is visited upon them. And perhaps measures … [Read more...]

“Morally Exemplary Friendships”: Wesley Hill looks for examples

at First Things: ...When I originally announced that I was working on a book about friendship, Ben Myers suggested I pick up Uncommon Friendships: An Amicable History of Modern Religious Thought by William Young. The book focuses on three pairs of friends—Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Blanchot, and Julia Kristeva and Catherine Clément, all of whom were influential twentieth century religious thinkers—and tries to show how their particular … [Read more...]

“Friendship in Between ‘Romance’ and Loneliness”: Wesley Hill

blogs; did I post this already? It's from a few months ago. Anyway I just re-read it and liked it a lot. Comments also worth reading! Early on in Mark Vernon’s insightful book The Meaning of Friendship, there’s this throwaway observation: “In TV soaps, the characters always have their friends to return to when their sexual adventures fail; lovers come and go, but friends remain.” Reading that sentence, I think not only of old favorites like Seinfeld and Friends but of more recent … [Read more...]

“Church Before Sex”: Wesley Hill

YES, this: It was only later, after seminary, that it occurred to me that our debate was, among other things, odd. We students interrogated each other, and each of us felt a (mostly self-imposed) obligation to settle “our position” on the matter. But in retrospect, I view that as strange—because whether women can be ordained to diaconal or priestly/pastoral ministry is not a question that can be “settled” by an individual Christian, even one who’s been to seminary and been ordained. … [Read more...]


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