New Here?
Posts tagged "experience"

Thank God for Philip Pullman: A Religious Reader’s Guide to His Dark Materials

Spoilers below. Halfway through His Dark Materials, I heard rumors. By the books’ end, people were saying, the characters would kill God. But I was a kid, and like all kids, I wanted to be good. I wasn’t interested in killing God. The extent to which I had been harmed by the Church was a […]

Modern Origins of Anxiety: Reflections on Idolatry

In last week’s post on anxiety we traced some threads in epistemology, or the way we acquire knowledge, and particularly knowledge about our own standing to God, focusing especially the question, “in which places do we experience his presence”? One problem with a more modern, ‘scientific’ epistemology, generally speaking, is that God’s presence becomes unthinkable apart […]

Can God Work in Poetry? Simeon Zahl on Spiritual Experience

From the festschrift honoring Paul Zahl, Comfortable Words, son Simeon Zahl argues convincingly that God may work in any avenue of human life, broadening the Holy Spirit’s arena beyond the traditional Word (preaching, Bible) and sacrament: In Isaiah, we are reminded that “All flesh is grass… The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of […]

Modern Origins of Anxiety: Scientific Christianity and Perceptive Optimism

The question of what causes anxiety is one to which we’ve given an embarrassing amount of attention, especially within the context of Christianity. The Onion was good to remind us that “Anxiety [Isn’t] Resolved By Thinking About It Really Hard”, but the relationship between religion and anxiety is a fascinating and potent one; i.e., the decline of […]

Mary Karr, Mini-Lives, and News From Across the (Human/Robot Divide)

Reading Mary Karr’s fantastic memoir Lit, one quote in particular stuck out to me as beautifully describing a tendency we humans have to fall into more limited emotional ranges: …anything worth doing could be undertaken later. Paint the apartment, write a book, quit booze, sure: tomorrow. Which ensures that life gets lived in miniature. In lieu […]

Ted Hughes on Inner Children and the Center of Magic and Revelation

Consistently in the Gospels, Christ tells people that they must become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of God, in order to see the world properly through lenses unclouded by the ego (in modern terms), unimpaired by the countless protections and rationalizations and self-justifying constructions which permeate adult life. Last week Letters […]