The Ear of the Heart

to_the_wonder

A friend recently gave me the autobiography of a Benedictine nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut, entitled The Ear of the Heart.  In the first part, Dolores Hart, also known as the girl who first kissed Elvis, tells how she left a promising career in Hollywood, and broke off her engagement to a great guy, in order to enter the convent.   The decision looked dramatic, but from Dolores’ perspective, it was a simple act of attention to the Voice that she could no longer ignore.  Over th … [Read more...]

Boredom and Kairos

The_Persistence_of_Memory

If I say to you that no one has time to finish, that the longest human life leaves a man, in any branch of learning, a beginner, I shall seem to you to be saying something quite academic and theoretical. You would be surprised if you knew how soon one begins to feel the shortness of the tether, of how many things, even in middle life, we have to say "No time for that," "Too late now," and "Not for me." -C.S. Lewis, Learning in WartimeMy father is a wise man. It was with his typical wisdom … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: FF Writers React

Pope_Francis

Michael Hannon:Lumen Fidei is a fine title for Pope Francis’ first encyclical, but I can’t help but think that After Faith might have been even more apropos.  For in this letter to the Christian faithful, the Holy Father does for doctrinal enquiry what Alasdair MacIntyre did for ethical inquiry more than thirty years ago in After Virtue.  With a nod to Nietzsche, Pope Francis—primarily through the pen of his predecessor—begins by noting the sterile nature of contemporary understandings of fai … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Authenticity

In last Saturday’s New York Times, Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster critique the “pursuit of authenticity” that has pervaded American spirituality in the past few decades. Titling their piece, “The Gospel According to ‘Me’,” Critchley and Webster describe America’s transition from a society rooted in Judeo-Christian morals to one characterized by “a weak but all-pervasive idea of spirituality tied to a personal ethic of authenticity and a liturgy of inwardness.” Spirituality has become an “ea … [Read more...]

Politics and the Bible as Narrative

red sea

From Oliver O’Donovan’s The Desire of the Nations:If political theologians are to treat ancient Israel’s political tradition as normative, they must observe the discipline of treating it as history. They may not plunder the Old Testament as though it were so much raw material to be consumed, in any order and in any variety of proportions, in the manufacture of their own theological artefact. They are dealing with a disclosure which took form in a succession of political developments, each o … [Read more...]

Faith, Fiction, and Reason

narnia

T.M. Luhrmann is a Stanford anthropologist famous for her research on evangelical devotional life, studying the mechanics of God's presence in their lives. A few days ago, in a NY Times article, she asked and answered the following question: "Why is C.S. still a rock star for evangelicals?"  In her view, it boils down to his fiction, particularly his Narnia series, which paints a complex picture of God that is "insulated from human doubt about religion." The series, she argues, "helps us to … [Read more...]

The Summer Pop Culture Found Religion

vampire weekend

Behold the summer where pop culture (or at least its high priests) found religion. Two of the biggest, most influential albums to drop this summer place religious questions and symbols at their core. More importantly, both promise to be memorable works. One, Modern Vampires of the City, marks the critical and commercial highwater mark of indie-rock impresarios Vampire Weekend. The other, Kanye West’s Yeezus, has received rave reviews and, given the artist’s current pop culture ascendance (cf. “Ki … [Read more...]


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