As an English professor who is particularly interested in mythology and the role that stories play in helping us making meaning of our lives, I’m pretty attuned to noticing when such references show up and how they are utilized, whether in films or books.
Like many people, this past weekend I saw Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated film on the “father of the atomic bomb”, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who headed The Manhattan Project during World War II.Read More ›
I’m guessing that many of you may feel like I do a lot these days when you look at the news—both angry yet impotent to do much of anything significant about the world’s ills. It’s one of the problems of our age, that our sphere of knowledge dwarfs our sphere of impact. In these moments I often find myself “doomscrolling”, thumbing through one bad thing after another on the Internet until I’m in a bad mood.Read More ›
Author’s note: This essay contains spoilers for the 14th century British poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the 2021 film The Green Knight. If I spoil the poem for you, well, your bad, you’ve had six centuries to catch up. However, spoiling the film for you would be more understandable, so perhaps steer clear until you’ve seen it.Read More ›
If you’re like me right about now, you’re looking for just about anything to give you a glimpse of joy and beauty in a world that feels like it’s burning to the ground. And if you’re a maker of beauty, you might also be struggling with trying to draw anything remotely creative out of yourself during this season. Despite what the productivity gurus might suggest, it’s kind of hard to get things done with the underlying anxiety and fear so many of us are dealing with (much less working and parenting from home 24/7).Read More ›
When it comes to Christmas films, there are few moments more iconic than Linus’ recitation of the Nativity story in A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has become immortalized in the consciousness of our modern holiday experience.Read More ›
In the spirit of fall, here’s a “lost verse” from Douglas McKelvey’s liturgy of “Praise to the King of Creation.”Read More ›
These days, I tend to find myself bemoaning my own easy distractedness. I took a little bit of a social media fast in the opening weeks of the year, and I resolved at the end of that experience to be more measured in my use of social media, but let’s be honest: I fell pretty quickly back into old habits. I guess it’s at least good that I’m aware of my backslide? Gotta start somewhere.Read More ›
If I’m honest, I’ve followed Jesus most of my life, and sometimes I don’t know how to pray.
If you’ve been part of the Christian spiritual tradition for any length of time, you probably have collected a few ideas of what prayer is and is not, both from teaching and practice. Is prayer just pulling the lever of a cosmic slot machine and hoping everything lines up? Is prayer a non-verbal, mystical experience of the Divine? Is prayer simply reciting the words of other saints from the past? Does God need my prayers or do I need them?Read More ›
“My Father’s House” is the ninth track on Springsteen’s classic lo-fi album Nebraska, and the last song he wrote for the album. In his autobiography Born To Run, Bruce has this to say about the creation of the album:
One of the more odd Christmas traditions that my wife and I have developed over the last few years is re-watching all of the Christmas episodes from everyone’s favorite workplace comedy, The Office.
Today is bone cold, gray, and still, which seems appropriate for the beginning of Advent. As I was headed for a walk in the woods, I was listening to a haunting rendition of Longfellow’s “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day” by Beta Radio. It’s been one of those Christmas songs I’ve least connected with, for whatever reason. But Beta Radio’s melancholy twist resonated with me this morning, under the gray skies…