How do you finish being angry?

bruce banner hulk

This review of Lawrence Cunningham's The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide is part of the Patheos Book Club, and my copy was free.My college debate group had many aphorisms, one of which was, "All sins are pride."  So I read The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide waiting to see what Cunningham had to say about my sin.  I didn't expect to be caught by his meditation on anger/wrath, which I've always thought of as the most boring sin.Coming from a background of stoicism, I just see ang … [Read more...]

The Inspector Javert Medley [Sequence Index]

Isn't moral conviction dreamy?

I may not have drawn little hearts in my middle school notebooks labelled "Leah + Inspector Javert" but I've loved him far too much since the first time I saw Les Miserables.  (And, this year, I immediately dibsed his part when organizing a Les Mis flashmob).  But some of the things I've loved most about the adamant Inspector are the things I've had to set aside in order to be a Christian.  So, to mark the occasion of the movie's release, I wrote three meditations on the  … [Read more...]

Give Me (and Javert) a Firm Place to Stand

javert

While googling to nail down some of Javert's lyrics, I ended up on his IMDB quotes page, which draws on film adaptations of the book going back to 1935.  And, looking over these selections, it's clear a number of productions have seen Javert as some kind of atheist, possibly of an existentialist stripe.  One movie has him saying, "There is no God. There is only the law. Good and evil do not exist outside the law."But the Javert of the book and the musical isn't a heathen; he's a heretic.   … [Read more...]

Javert: No Quarter Asked or Given

javert

I first saw Les Miserables when I was in middle school, I think, and I was on the edge of my seat from the opening number.  But the moment that transfixed me was Javert's joyous "Stars."  I was in love.There was nothing I wanted so much as to be like that man, ramrod-straight, inviolate, and wholly consecrated to duty.  In fact, when informed of my conversion, one friend, initially puzzled, said, "Well, I guess you've always been a bit of an absolutist."  But my Javertian tendencies are a … [Read more...]

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Birth of Christ (but were afraid to tweet @Pontifex)

jesus infancy narratives

I received a comped copy of this book for review, but have not taken any other compensation  nor was this post subject to any editorial review.  (Besides the eagle-eyed grammar police of the commentariat).I read Jesus of Nazareth:  From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration earlier this year, as part of the two-person book club I set up with the Dominican friar who sponsored me at my baptism.  Although Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives is part of the same project, the two b … [Read more...]

7 Hobbit Takes

On the plus side, someone in the theatre greeted me by saying, "Galadriel to meet you!"

--- 1 --- I've been nervous about seeing The Hobbit since I saw this passage in Anthony Lane's review: Instead, before Bilbo stumbles upon the ring, we see it slip from Gollum’s safekeeping, tumble in refulgent slow motion, and, on impact, give a resounding clang. (If Jackson ever films “Othello,” wait for Desdemona’s handkerchief to hit the ground like a sheet of tin.) When you adapt a classic, it's tempting to engage in fanservice ("Hey, look!  It's this moment!  The one you love!").  There' … [Read more...]

This Prayer Book is a Stub…

catholic spiritual practices

This month, the Patheos Book Club is reading Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New, a collection of description of and reflections on common Catholic spiritual practice.  The book is essentially a tasting menu; each of the twenty-six meditations is only a few pages long.  It's the book equivalent of Lewis's Wood between the Worlds (or Grossman's Neitherlands).This book alone would not be enough to get you engaged in any form of spiritual praxis, but you might end up with a C … [Read more...]


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