Why Books Will Win

I’m making a wager that books will lead us to the future. Heartlands came about as a desire to understand the present age, particularly from the perspective of rural America and rural church ministry.  In the beginning I was trying to figure out why the place where I live seemed suddenly so strange to me.  […]

Dismantling Confederate Monuments — Revisited

ministrymatters.com/…/confederate-monuments-and-controversy A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the decision by the City of New Orleans to dismantle a number of monuments to Confederate heroes.  “More memory not less,” was my plea.  I developed that theme in an article that is now out on FaithLink, a United Methodist Curriculum.  A portion of that article […]

A glorious, shabby democracy – my interview with photographer Michael Mergen concludes (3 of 3)

Having talked with photographer Michael Mergen in previous segments about his Civil War landscapes and the parallel Civil Rights series, today we talk about the glorious shabbiness of American democracy.  This is something he explored in two works we talk about here – one a series in which he photographs buildings across the country that […]

Interchangeable heads and crayons in Selma – my interview with photographer Michael Mergen continues (part 2 of 3)

I’m so glad I obeyed my impulse at the stoplight in downtown Farmville, Virginia.  I was driving through and stopped at a red light next to the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts where a local photographer’s work was on display.  I pulled into a parking spot and discovered Michael Mergen. In the first part […]

When Robert E. Lee was in the Walgreen’s Parking Lot – An interview with Photographer Michael Mergen (part 1 of 3)

Michael Mergen is a photographer of memory and landscape.  His photos capture ordinary, even shabby parts of America and invest them with the meanings we place on them.  So a series on the things businesses give as freebies to veterans (burgers, ice cream) and another on the things we name for war heroes (interstate highway […]