Letting Prayer Lead from Self to Other

cry woof

Tonight I'm speaking in NYC at First Things at 6p.  I hope to see some of you there or next week when I do a Theology on Tap in Boston on June 2nd.As part of the Patheos Book Club, I got to do a Q&A with Will Duquette about Arriving at Amen.  Will's a great guy, a third order Dominican and the kind of person who titles his blog "Cry Woof! And let slip the dogs of whimsy..."Here are a few excerpts from our conversation:  Cry Woof: Your use of the examen started out narrow and even … [Read more...]

The Publishing Milestone that No One Mentions

pg 45 meme

This might be the most exciting thing that's happened to me in the midst of launching my first book.  Last week, I reposted one of those perennial facebook memes:Since I was reading The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr, I typed up the appropriate page 45 sentence: To use an image that is more organic, we might diagram restorative justice as a flower. My friends added quotes of their own, and then one of them posted this! The request for light in the second part of the … [Read more...]

Accidental Stylites and the Benedict Option

Luke the Stylite / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend, I'm hosting an in-person discussion of "the Benedict Option" -- ways for modern Christians to root their faith so that they can wind up living it more fully and more joyfully.  Rod Dreher is the biggest promoter of the idea, which takes its name from the Benedictine monasteries that acted as centers of Christian faith, both for the monks that lived within them and (more relevantly for me!) the lay communities that sprang up in the shadow of the monasteries.  These ordinary people h … [Read more...]

Running the (Terrible for Catholics) Numbers on Conversion


The Pew Religious Landscape Survey gave the chance to write some code and run the numbers on religious churn, retention, and conversions for my day job at FiveThirtyEight.  Here are a few highlights: Evangelical Protestants Are The Biggest Winners When People Change Faiths The numbers presented by Pew help describe current patterns, but they don’t tell the whole story of which denominations are most attractive to people who might be looking for a new one. Gain and loss numbers can wind up sk … [Read more...]

7QT: Not Breathing, Not Marrying, and Opening Beers With Your Teeth


--- 1 --- So, remember how I mentioned that the last question at my book talk in DC was about transhumanism?  Well, here's a particularly amusing body augmentation: If you're a rugby player, you're going to take a lot of hits — and you might even lose a tooth or two. Rather than replace those lost incisors with regular old implants, athletes might consider something more useful — a steel tooth that doubles as a bottle opener. --- 2 --- Speaking of impressive new bodily powers, I liked this Na … [Read more...]

Using N-Dimensional Spaces to Learn to Think About God


I had a great time speaking about Arriving at Amen at the Catholic Information Center last night (especially during the Q&A section -- there were a couple I'm still mulling) and the audio from that event should wind up online eventually.Plus, you can see me live (and ask questions of your own -- the last one at the CIC was about transhumanism) in NYC on May 26th and Boston on June 2nd.In the meantime, EWTN News Nightly put up the clip of my interview, if you'd like to hear me talk … [Read more...]

Talking to Vox Nova about Conversion and Learning from Others

vox nova

I got to chat with Jeannine Pitas of Vox Nova about my new book, Arriving at Amen and some of her more wide-ranging questions about religion.  Here's a teaser of what she asked: Q: On a more general note, what do you think that Catholics can learn from atheists? In turn, what can atheists learn from us, and how can we present that knowledge in a way that will be met with receptivity?Catholics can learn the tradition of critical thinking and useful skepticism that is so highly valued in … [Read more...]