Tag: faith

  • Burning Down the House of Fear with Brian Zahnd

    Burning Down the House of Fear with Brian Zahnd

    ‘Deconstruction’ is a popular term in conversations among church leaders these days. Only when deconstruction is invoked, we’re not talking French intellectual movements; it’s more to do with reassessing the received faith of our childhood and sorting out what resources are still there for life as an adult. In other words it’s what we used […]

  • #4–Hunting Magic Eels by Richard Beck–2021 Best Reads

    #4–Hunting Magic Eels by Richard Beck–2021 Best Reads

    No book was better at giving voice to things I was feeling about our contemporary landscape than Richard Beck’s Hunting Magic Eels. The title was catchy, referring to an ancient Welsh pilgrimage site that featured prophetic eels who could predict the prospects of your love life. But the whole book worked a kind of magic. […]

  • Rediscovering the Enchanted World

    Rediscovering the Enchanted World

    Allow me some magic. Some dark, mammalian creature moves swiftly across the field outside my window at middle distance between the treeline and me. It traces a smooth, straight line across my field of vision, just far enough away in the early dawn light to be indistinct. Could Maxwell, the neighbor cat, be that far […]

  • Of Mice and Migration: The Luminous World of Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom

    Of Mice and Migration: The Luminous World of Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom

    This review originally appeared on The Englewood Review of Books and is republished with permission. The experiments that Gifty, a Stanford PhD candidate, conducts have the illusion of being about control. A pioneer in the field of optogenetics, the young Ghanaian-American researcher is using illuminated neural pathways to understand the brains of mice—particularly brains with […]

  • Christian Wiman Has Nothing to Prove, And Yet He Does

    Christian Wiman Has Nothing to Prove, And Yet He Does

    Christian Wiman has nothing to prove. His output in recent years sparkles: Joy: 100 Poems, an anthology he edited with a title so out of step with the times that it circled back around to surprise us that we could feel such a thing as joy just now. He Held Radical Light: The Art of […]

  • Starving to See Every Bit: A Review of Brian Doyle’s One Long River of Song

    Starving to See Every Bit: A Review of Brian Doyle’s One Long River of Song

    There’s a special kind of glory in the writing of those who bring extraordinary attention and a capacious spiritual vocabulary to the business of describing the world as it is. The Irish seem to have such glory in spades, even in the diaspora. And it certainly touched the late Brian Doyle, whose essays have been […]

  • Why Mister Rogers Still Matters: Shea Tuttle on the Man and His Faith

    Why Mister Rogers Still Matters: Shea Tuttle on the Man and His Faith

    The scene Shea Tuttle describes in the introduction of her great new book is so familiar that it could be any one of us as a child. Curled up on a couch wrapped in a holey Afghan watching a television show alone. And then the magic as a performer reaches through that screen and across […]

  • Why Reading About Burundi is Reading About Humanity

    Why Reading About Burundi is Reading About Humanity

    “I hope you can understand why it is that despite all its faults and its legacy of violence, I so very much love my country and my culture. It is an amazingly rich, vibrant, and active way of life. So, it is possible that in one country you can find such extremes as genocide and […]

  • Joy Comes In the Morning: A Review of Christian Wiman’s Poetry Collection

    Joy Comes In the Morning: A Review of Christian Wiman’s Poetry Collection

    “Joy: that durable, inexhaustible, essential, inadequate word. That something in the soul that makes one able to claim again the word ‘soul.’” (xxxvii) Last year two books from Christian Wiman made their way to my reading stand. If nothing else had happened in the literary world in 2018, those two works would have been enough. […]