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Literature


The Most Lost of Them All: Madness and Rescue from Kafka’s Prison

Whether Franz Kafka was a religious writer has been considered an open question. For many people, of course, anything too dark, too weird, smacks of faithlessness. Edwin Berry Burgum once described Kafka as “the most lost of them all”; his “personal deterioration paralleled the degeneration of the society that produced him” (that is, Germany in […]

Overcoming Unbelief: John Updike on Feathers and Faith

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6–7) In John Updike’s 1961 short story “Pigeon Feathers,” forces conspire to kill a 13-year-old’s faith, but […]

“The Story of Divine Mercy Killing”: The Best Part of My Divine Comedy Is That It’s Ours, Too

When I first came across Missy Andrews’ recently published memoir My Divine Comedy: A Mother’s Homeschooling Journey, I was a bit skeptical.  I was intrigued by what I presumed to be her titular pun on Dante’s Divine Comedy. But what do I have in common with a mother on a homeschooling journey? I’m not a […]

A Mockingbird Guide to A Separate Peace: Chapters 10-13

Welcome to our third and final installment of the Mockingbird Reader’s Guide to A Separate Peace. If you’d like to catch up, you can click through to find Part I and Part II. Forgiveness The turning point of our novel finds Gene in the barren “death landscape” of Vermont as he searches for Leper Lepellier, […]

Iris Murdoch and the Freedom of Attention

This meditation was written by Ken Wilson. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 There is an amusing scene in Whit Stillman’s 1990 preppie coming-of-age film, […]

How to Save a Life: William James’ Tips for Surviving Depression

A young Gertrude Stein once took a class with the philosopher William James, who, even at the time, was something of a celebrity. One day, faced with an exam, Stein refused, writing at the top of it, “Dear Professor James, I am so sorry, but really I do not feel a bit like an examination […]

“A Story Unleashed”: Jesus Couldn’t Keep a Lid on the Gospel, and Neither Can We

We all get a “gospel according to…” and that is both terrifying and liberating.

Holy Foolishness: A Manifesto

Shakespeare, the Holy Spirit, and Hearts on Sleeves

The Resurrection in “The Old Man and the Sea”

Salvation and Life through these Bones

The Gospel According to Dune

Note: Big big Dune spoilers ahead! It has been delightful to see Dune re-enter the public consciousness. It happened in response to the recent Vanity Fair articles about the upcoming film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic. Although David Lynch’s 1984 theatrical release *ahem* exists, I haven’t been able to make it through the […]

Tolkien’s Advice for Preachers

I don’t pretend to be a Tolkienologist or any sort of expert in Tolkien’s literary oeuvre. I’m more like a wannabe in that regard. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and I’ve read through the Middle Earth quests several times. But also: Peter Jackson’s adaptation is the best […]

ANNOUNCING! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl

SURPRISE!! We’ve dropped hints here and there that Paul Zahl has been working on a new book. The hardcover will be out this summer, but given our present circumstances (and the urgency of the book’s message), we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as possible. So we’ve done something unprecedented and have released it first as an e-book, which you can purchase as we speak! Here’s the blurb:

Everyone wants peace and hope.

As we grow older, we feel a special urgency to make peace with the past and to discover hope for the future. In his newest book, Peace in the Last Third of Life, the Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl provides a roadmap to finding peace and hope for the ‘Boomer’ generation. Zahl’s wisdom comes not only from decades in pastoral ministry, but also from cultural and historical illustrations as varied as Philadelphia Soul, War of the Worlds (1953), and the skin of St. Bartholomew. With piercing wisdom and unflagging humor, Peace in the Last Third of Life connects the core questions of Boomers to the Supernatural Power of God.

Grab your copy today!