The Environmental Roots of Our Poor Health


A recent study of health in America noted some curious problems. It turns out that we are less likely to live as long and are more apt to suffer from diseases than all other developed nations. And this disadvantage holds true across the entirety of the American demographic, for all ages and socio-economic classes. You can read about the study here. … [Read more...]

A Planet Commanded to Our Care


At the inauguration of President Barack Obama, we heard a rather stunning statement:“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. … [Read more...]

The Peace That Surpasses All Understanding


I was recently involved in a conversation about stress and anxiety in which we struggled to define these terms. At the time, I said that maybe stress came from an inability to be fully present with the task at hand. That might be correct, but I have since felt there was more to say on the topic. This is mainly because I have been, well, very stressed of late and in need of some clarity on the issue. … [Read more...]

The Tragic Death of a Young Boy


Tragedy has struck in my community. An 11-year old boy, Alan Zapata, and teammate of my son was playing a futsal game last week and, after scoring a handful of goals and playing his usual aggressive and skillful game, asked to be subbed out. His head hurt. Moments later he collapsed, went into cardiac arrest, and stopped breathing. Someone called 911 immediately and a few adults attempted CPR until the ambulance arrived. After a life-flight to Primary Children’s Hospital and several days in a c … [Read more...]

A Lecture on Derek Walcott and Theology

This is a video of a lecture I gave almost two years ago at the University of Iowa. The lecture covers the relationship between theology and literature and the role death and dying in Walcott's view of nature.   … [Read more...]

In Praise of the Ordinary


I think it is typical to imagine that there are two types of beauty—the natural beauty that the world offers as is and the invented, enhanced pleasures of art. The former is a kind of rawness that surprises us precisely because it does not seem to be made. It has no intention necessarily of being beautiful. It just is. In this category, we might think of the shape of Half Dome in Yosemite or the curvilinear red rock of The Wave in southern Utah. The latter more artificial beauty, of course, very … [Read more...]