Emily Dunnan Dec 29, 2017

We have all read the story in which the “classy detective with a sixth sense and an addiction,” accompanied by his “naive sidekick,” deduces that the “suicide case,” closed by the “bumbling policeman,” is obviously a murder. The author invokes “stormy skies” which reflect the detective’s mental state as he confronts a “secret from his past,” leading inevitably to redundant sequels, poorly parroting the style of the Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These well-worn clichés constitute the matter of what Annie Dillard would call dishonest literature.

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Kate Deddens Dec 28, 2017

In the first portion of our excursion through the sticky saying that we discover in Homer’s Achilles I explored the idea that we’re not as different from Achilles as we think. Hearkening back to Bespaloff (On the Iliad), we might at this point be able to recognize that while in spirit we admire Hektor, more often than not in action we emulate Achilles. For confirmation, we only need to survey our society in which appearances, wealth, fame, brash self-assertion, and power are our golden calves.

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Heidi White Dec 19, 2017

It is December and the year is waning. The calendar year fades away with its annual decline, while the liturgical year renews itself again in Advent. I don't know about you, but I delight in fresh starts, as long as I carry into the that new beginning a unified vision and the practices to support it.

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Karen Kern Dec 18, 2017

A popular Christmas song tells us that, when the bustle of Santa’s big day, with the busy sidewalks and the children laughing and the snow crunching, makes its assault, we should listen for the soothing silver bells . I love those  busy sidewalks and the children laughing and the snow crunching and all the activity that the season demands. Yet, traditionally, Advent is a time of silent waiting, of reflecting and fasting, of anticipating the Messiah. 

Where do we find time for silence and stillness?

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Jessica Burke Dec 15, 2017

My six-year-old became increasingly indignant during the series of eight flights we took last month. The children were all especially interested in the safety presentation before takeoff, but whenever the flight attendants told adults to put on their oxygen masks before helping others, my daughter was agitated. “That’s so mean!” Her eyes narrowed, and she crossed her arms over her body. “How so?” I inquired. She glared at the flight attendant two rows in front of us. “Mothers should always put their children first!”

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Jon Buell Dec 12, 2017

We have all witnessed the curious, silly, emotional roller coaster that is a “logic-stage” student. They can be so fun and so full of wonder, and yet so disobedient at the same time. One minute we are in awe of their thoughts and abilities and the next we are pulling our hair out in frustration.

We have all been logic students. You may have taught and even raised logic students.

But have you ever worshiped a logic student?

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Tim McIntosh Dec 11, 2017

At the party, through the foyer, around the clusters of partygoers, past the buffet, and into the salon. There they are, arguing, discussing, pounding the tables with their open palms. You have come among the great authors who are conducting a conversation that began at the dawn of time. You have arrived.

You elbow through gray suits and togas toward the sound of a livid voice. As you sit down, a Greek man with a curly gray beard flashes an impish grin from across the table. You think he looks familiar, but your thoughts are interrupted by a squat German man.

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Kate Deddens Nov 28, 2017

Many literary images have taken up residence in my life: laughing Lucy tossed into the air, safely caught by Aslan’s velvety paws; a gaunt Hamlet confronting a weird, haunting specter; the lovely Scheherazade, spinning a thousand tales for the Persian Šāhe Šāhān (King of Kings); a slave boy, answering questions posed by a curious man drawing figures in the sand; Margaret’s tears gently falling upon a golden carpet of leaves . . .

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Monte Knetter Nov 20, 2017

How did we get to the point where journalists lose their jobs for opinions expressed on social media, a pastor can be terminated from his job at the fire department for writing a book that affirms Biblical morality, and disagreements over political ideology routinely split families and destroy friendships?

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Heidi White Nov 2, 2017

In response to a student petition, the Yale University English faculty recently voted to “decolonize the English department” by rearranging their course requirements to minimize exposure to, among others, Shakespeare and Chaucer. New course requirements mandate that undergraduate students choose three out of four core courses, in which only one includes Chaucer and Shakespeare, while another includes Milton.

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