New Here?
     
Science


Alone Together In One Body and Spirit

Social distancing has reorganized our public life by sequestering us within the familiar spheres we tell ourselves we are comfortable with. But when self-quarantining excludes the normal distractions and opportunities that inhabit our everyday lives, we are forced to reckon with the compromises and loneliness we are usually able to ignore. Long before the pandemic […]

On Things I Thought I’d Never Say, like God Bless the Internet!

About two weeks ago, Tim Kreider penned a column for Medium entitled, “It’s Time To Admit that the Internet Is Bad For Us.” I read it and nodded along, vigorously. A quarter-century in, [the Internet] does seem to have revolutionized consciousness, in much the same way as did nickel slots or crack. Studies have empirically […]

Exposure Control and COVID: Finding Contentment in Quarantine

This one was written by Greg Gelburd. It could be a dark planet on Star Trek, but alas it is instead a micro-particle (almost as tiny as the mesh in my N95 mask) that is causing havoc on the blue planet. Side-by-side, two hundred of the viruses would be almost visible. As we socially isolate […]

God of Progress, Slow Us Down

In his essay “After the Storm,” author Ben Ehrenreich investigates the concept of progress. It’s in the air, he argues, so elemental we don’t always know we’re breathing it. “We are in thrall,” he writes, “to the fetish of progress: the belief that history has a direction and a purpose, the faith that humankind is […]

Very Superstitious: The Human Propensity for Faith in the Unseen

“We make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” – William Shakespeare A couple of months ago, Julie Jargon wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called “My Baby Monitor Is Haunted,” about a number of parents who have witnessed paranormal activity from the […]

Text Message for the Otherworld

When I was in school, Facebook was young. One evening, I saw a dead classmate’s profile, his picture featured on the sidebar, a recommended friend. I spent the next hours perusing the status updates he had posted when he did not realize his days were numbered. For anyone wondering, now Facebook has an answer for […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 2

If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it … Scapegoating, exporting our unresolved hurt, is the most common storyline of human history. The Jesus Story is about radically transforming history and individuals so that we don’t just keep handing on the pain to the next generation. Richard Rohr, “Transforming Pain” […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 1

Our present ecological crisis, the biggest single practical threat to our human existence … has, religious people would say, a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God — not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our […]

Are Friends Electric? And Is Grace Digital?

This one’s especially for Andy, Anna, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Kristin, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. It seems like a hilariously ironic turn of Providence that I who have been so deeply suspicious of connectivity through electronic media and its pernicious (albeit often unintended) consequences should find the friends I am most in touch with, most […]

I Deleted My Social Media and Didn’t Tell Anyone (Except You)

I deleted all of my social media accounts a month ago and I didn’t tell anyone.  Well, two qualifications. First, I deleted LinkedIn (honestly, I don’t remember ever signing up for LinkedIn) and Twitter, but I only deactivated Facebook and Instagram because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I haven’t downloaded […]

The Human Is Very Important Right Now

At the soup kitchen where I accidentally volunteered for a couple of years, the following exchange happened more than once. Observing the guests at plastic fold-up tables, a volunteer would whisper what we’d all at some point wondered. “How do they afford it? Who pays for these phones?” Ostensibly low-income, possibly homeless, the guests were […]

The Science of Miracles

This one comes to us from Tim Burbery. Passover is upon us, providing a superb opportunity for reflecting on the original event as well as the miracle of the Exodus. A number of scientific theories have attempted to explain how the plagues and the Red Sea crossing could be accounted for by natural causes, and […]