Eric Wearne Aug 16, 2017

As the school year begins, many high school students will soon encounter To Kill a Mockingbird in their English classes. Those who have read the book will remember that a good bit of the action takes place in and around the Finch children’s school–their walks past Boo Radley’s house, the fight Scout gets into over the work Atticus does for Tom Robinson, the school play with Scout dressed as a ham.

Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 14, 2017

“Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, the counsel-chamber of thought”: these words, quoted at last month’s CiRCE conference, have continued to percolate in my reflections on what I heard there, helping to rehabilitate the very word “memory” from its eroded modern definition—the mere storing of information, accomplished as efficiently by an external hard drive as by a human mind. Running straight through the conference was the insistence that human memory is so much more. 

Nathan Johnson Aug 11, 2017

Most people don’t enjoy poetry. In my Ancient to Medieval Literature class, my students celebrate when they get to the last book of the semester, an anthology of Arthurian legends, because it’s the first prose reading of the year. But it’s not just students who don’t enjoy poetry—few adults find themselves craving an evening with Shelley or Tennyson, much less Homer or Virgil. Most people complain that poetry is too difficult to understand or not accessible enough. But I think it’s deeper than that.

Andrew Kern Aug 10, 2017

The following passage from 1 Corinthians 3 sits on a plaque over the door in my family room at home. 

Omnia enim vestra sunt
Vos autem Christi
Christus autem Dei

My friend Marc Hays had it specially burned for me to thank me for my role in the CiRCE apprenticeship, from which I was resigning when he gave it to me last summer. 

The words are from when Paul is summarizing his argument against division with the infantile Corinthian church. 

I have long revered this passage as a cure for Christian stoicism. 

Joshua Gibbs Aug 10, 2017

Once a grown man has been accepted into the Church, fully and finally rejecting the Church is quite difficult— however, with years of slow and patient progress, rejecting the Church is possible.

Angelina Stanford Aug 8, 2017

This post is part of a series called The Fellowship of the Inklings where I attempt to blog my way through reading The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski.

Andrew Kern Aug 8, 2017

Over the past year the angst of the previous decade that arose from the anxiety of the previous half-century has been condensed into a few books that explore how Christians should respond now that we are marginalized by our ever-more secular culture. 

Joshua Gibbs Aug 6, 2017

Let us suppose that sometime in the mid 19th century, a primitive animist tribe dwelling in uncharted jungle encounters a Western missionary who, amidst horrific gasping and choking, claims to be in possession of a holy book, a salvific book, a book from God himself, and then falls over dead. At the exact moment of his expiration, sweet rain pours forth from a cloudless sky, and the oldest and most venerable priest of the tribe confirms the benevolence of the omen. The dead missionary carries no portmanteau and his hands are empty.

Lindsey Brigham Knott Aug 2, 2017

The pictures in my mother’s scrapbook testify that, like most little girls I’ve met, my sisters and I wore dress-up clothes more often than not for our first five or so years of life. The magic of the dress-up box, and of the girlish imaginations that transformed its contents into anything from the richest regal robes to the poorest paupers’ rags, sustained our liveliest play and solemnest pretending for a long season. 

Joshua Gibbs Aug 1, 2017

This summer, my Medieval literature students are reading Chesterton’s biography of St. Francis of Assisi, and we will begin this Fall with a discussion of the book. Some students will express confusion or horror at the ascetic practices of St. Francis and they will need such habits explained. I tell them the logic of asceticism is already inextricably (though invisibly) bound to many aspects of their Christian walk, but that asceticism is also bound to a host of secular matters.