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Literature

The Problem with Paradise

The Problem with Paradise

Toni Morrison’s Paradise (1997) begins with a startling act of violence. Then, in a landscape of confounding spirituality, unfolds the stories of several different women. The book was, in part, one woman’s answer to a question that will be familiar to anyone interested in the language of faith. How might religion be rendered in a […]

Walker Percy on Distraction and Selfhood ~ Scott Johnson

Nuclear winter, malaise, transcendence, and an amiable dude in khakis — all this and more in the following video! Very pleased to share this talk by Scott Johnson, from our recent conference in Oklahoma City, a revised version of which appeared in the latest Mockingbird magazine, the Faith and Doubt issue.

Walker Percy on Distraction and Selfhood ~ Scott Johnson

The Boy Who Lived: A Tribute to My First Reading of the <i>Harry Potter</i> Series

The Boy Who Lived: A Tribute to My First Reading of the Harry Potter Series

Spoilers! (But I might be last person who would have needed that warning.) I closed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and sat frozen in place. The weight in my chest slowly subsided as tears continued to stream down my face. I couldn’t quite figure out what to do next. The reality sunk in that […]

MORE LIFE: Blessings and a Guilty God in <i>Angels in America</i>

MORE LIFE: Blessings and a Guilty God in Angels in America

the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force The Great Question before us is: Are we doomed? The Great Question before us is: Will the Past Release us? The Great Question before us is: Can we Change? In Time? And we all desire that Change will come. So begins the […]

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 2: The Birth of (Cybertronian) Tragedy: The Cyclic Deaths and Rebirths of King Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 2: The Birth of (Cybertronian) Tragedy: The Cyclic Deaths and Rebirths of King Optimus Prime

Thankful for this one, the second part of a series by Jeremiah Lawson. Don’t forget the first part! In The Golden Bough, James Frazer proposed that ancient kings died and were reborn in cycles in fertility religions. Nothing can die and be reborn quite like a robot. Surprisingly, one of the most prominent examples of […]

The Peril of Good Things (from <i>Milkman</i>, Pt 2)

The Peril of Good Things (from Milkman, Pt 2)

I tried to…unravel the distortions, have her right mind restored to her. She said it was impossible, that it was perilous to focus on good things when there were bad things, all these bad things, she said, that could not be forgot. She said old dark things as well as new dark things had to […]

What to Like about <i>Like</i>

What to Like about Like

This poetry review was written by Joey Jekel. What do translations of Homer, the Eurasian refugee crisis, blacksmithing, and Alice in Wonderland all have in common? They are all in the strange and pleasing ken of A. E. Stallings. A previous resident of Athens, Georgia and current resident of Athens, Greece, this contemporary poet and […]

Grace Knows the Back Story

Grace Knows the Back Story

Big Ellis, a young farmer in Wendell Berry’s short story, “Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows,” literally struggles to keep his pants up, due to his awkwardly proportioned body. His social graces are a little off as well, and this complicates his romantic exploits in the town of Port William. He did […]

The Quiet Grace of <i>Silence and Beauty</i>, by Makoto Fujimura

The Quiet Grace of Silence and Beauty, by Makoto Fujimura

Grateful for this piece by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, a review of Makoto Fujimura’s Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering. For more on the topic, see here for the Mockingcast episode featuring Fujimura as guest. This gorgeous reflection on Christian faith is a kind of detective story, mysteries layered one on top of the other, much like […]

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 1: The Total Work of Art as a <i>Transformer</i> of Culture

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 1: The Total Work of Art as a Transformer of Culture

This one comes to us from Jeremiah Lawson, the first in a three-part series! First and foremost, play is self-presentation. – Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method About forty years ago an animated program began that helped revolutionize the way some Americans enjoyed and thought about popular culture. Thanks to changes in FCC regulations during the Reagan […]

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (from <i>Milkman</i>, Pt 1)

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (from Milkman, Pt 1)

As regards this psycho-political atmosphere, with its rules of allegiance, of tribal identification, of what was allowed and not allowed, matters didn’t stop at ‘their names’ and at ‘our names’, at ‘us’ and ‘them’, at ‘our community’ and ‘their community’, at ‘over the road’, ‘over the water’ and ‘over the border’. Other issues had similar […]

Crime and Punishment and <i>Adventure Time</i>: A Kierkegaardian Reflection on Lowliness

Crime and Punishment and Adventure Time: A Kierkegaardian Reflection on Lowliness

“Because when you have stanky old wizard eyes, sometimes you see things that are real, and other times it’s like crazy, crazy, crazy, in your face, all the time. *sighs* All the time.” – Ice King Adventure Time​ is the single best kids show (which is also secretly for adults) of all time. I’ve obsessively […]