March 2, 2015

  [Editor’s Note: Just as I hoped would happen, friends and other readers have begun sending me articles that are perfect for Love Among the Ruins.  Excerpted and linked below are some are great observations about one of my favorite shows. Please enjoy and keep forwarding anything related to TOB and culture!] In my viewing and constant re-viewing of this series, what’s perhaps become more clear to me over time is that it’s not so much Jim or Pam’s singular, heroic decisions like leaving a New York job… Read more

February 26, 2015

[Editor’s Note: This novel is probably being taught in 1,000 classrooms across the country as you read. . . but not like this!] In her novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte recounts the journey of a young governess, Jane, and her employer Mr. Rochester towards true love and happiness.  Yet this journey is marked by imperfection because Mr. Rochester fears giving up his secret concupiscence.  Concupiscence, here, must be understood as an inordinate desire for the good: while Mr. Rochester wants to… Read more

February 25, 2015

A fellow Patheosa beat me to this perfect Love Among the Ruins subject! I am the last person who would have expected to agree with Russell Brand on many topics, let alone the topic of sex. But his comments on the craze surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey had me furiously nodding my head in surprised agreement. Be sure to read the whole thing and watch the video here. Read more

February 22, 2015

Editor’s Note: Here’s a nice reflection on today’s readings.] If Joseph Pieper is correct in saying that to love someone means to say “It is good that you exist”, then these words of God are down right gut wrenching – for they represent a one hundred and eighty degree turn in the mind of God, who upon having created man, declared him to not just be good, but very good (cf. Gen 1:31). As we recall from the creation story,… Read more

February 19, 2015

[Editor’s Note: This is similar in subject to my Groundhog Day post. Classic comedies lend themselves well to such a treatment since they almost always end in marriage. I think St. John Paul II would be very pleased by this one.] When Harry Met Sally tells the story of two less-than-friendly acquaintances who through twelve years of chance meetings, witty exchanges, and plenty of give-and-take, finally stumble into love with one another. Decades after its premier, the classic romantic comedy consistently draws audiences. Perhaps they are intrigued… Read more

February 14, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Here’s a very Love Among the Ruins-themed post from Verily Magazine. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!] What I know of Christian and Anna from Fifty Shades made me want to compare the two characters not to a diamond but to flint and steel. Together, they can make a fire by being violently banged together. But with each ignition, the flint wears down and the steel flakes off. Pieces of each of them are destroyed. This is like Don and Megan’s… Read more

February 9, 2015

[Editor’s Note: I’m delighted to feature a guest post by the man who has made the Theology of Body better known and loved throughout the world. Here’s a good reminder that sex and babies are related—just in time for Valentine’s Day (and Fifty Shades of Grey).] Movies, like all forms of art, reveal something of the human soul.  They can be a kind of confession.  Our sins, our fears, our inner contradictions, our worst nightmares – all the kinds of… Read more

February 4, 2015

                                                                              Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons [Editor’s Note: Taylor Swift says that she intended this video to be a satire of the way in which she is normally portrayed by the media. This article analyzes the story as it’s told, offering a theological critique of that media characterization alongside Taylor’s own.  It should be read with a sort of Taylor-Poet, Taylor-Pilgrim distinction. ] Taylor Swift’s new music video for “Blank Space” shows us the implosion of a romantic relationship; but this… Read more

February 2, 2015

This post first appeared at Through a Glass Brightly last year. *** The movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell turns 21 this year, and I wish I could take it out for a drink (“Sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist, please.”). I feel as if I’ve seen this movie about as many times as Phil Connors lived that day. In college, my roommate and I decided to drive to the tiny hamlet of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for the real thing…. Read more

January 30, 2015

Dear Reader, Welcome to Love Among the Ruins: a blog dedicated to publishing insights from students of Theology of the Body (TOB) as they carefully consider artifacts of our culture—movies, music, commercials, books, etc. This project is intended to make the very dense and heady TOB accessible to layfolk. I will tell you the story of how this came to be. One year ago today, I published a post on my own blog (Through a Glass Brightly) which was titled “Good… Read more


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