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 . . .
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?
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.
500 years ago today Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, thus setting in motion one of the most important religious revolutions in history: the Protestant Reformation. Sure, it's debatable whether this date actually kicked-off the Reformation, but it's certainly the date that has most captured the imagination of Christians since. It's the date on which we remember what happened, and why, and what became of it. So with that in mind we asked a few friends (Dr. Peter Leithart, George Grant, Brett McCracken, Dr.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante discovers an odd rule of Mount Purgatory. Every soul there may ascend the mountain as they will except at night, where a great and horrible darkness falls over everything. At times like that, the only thing to do is to sit and wait in the dark. Throughout the poem (and in typical Medieval symbolism), light is representative of God. Those in Hell, being separated from God, have no light. Those in Paradise, being in God's presence, have all-light (or all the light that they desire).
A young woman sits at the feet of Jesus. She is transfixed by his presence, hanging on his every word. Can you glimpse the delicate smile that hovers about her lips as she contemplates him? Her eyes are bright, captivated. She is Mary. See the somewhat older woman walking across the room deliberately towards Jesus? Her eyes are warm and straightforward, but her brow is furrowed and her expression troubled. Here is Martha.
In his 1987 essay “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer,” Wendell Berry offers a rationale for his reluctance to make the transition from pen and paper to mouse and keyboard. Berry was only interested in technological change if it was as affordable, as compact, or as useful as his current technology. If new technology offers no clear advantages over traditional methods, why upgrade? He concludes his essay with a list of justifications for upgrading technology, and his final criterion is germane to education, especially in a civilization saturated with technologies of various stripes.
Once upon a time, there were two sisters.
No, not the two step-sisters from Cinderella, although I can guess that for some of you, that’s who came to mind. Or, perhaps, if you’re like me, you thought of Austen’s Lizzy and Jane. Those sisters would be a most amiable topic to dwell on for a while.
However, the story of the two sisters I’m thinking of is told in the Bible. One sister, perhaps the elder, was Martha. The other was Mary. With their famous brother, Lazarus, these two sisters have joined the ranks of the Bible’s most well-known people.
Parables, somewhat open-endedly defined as “any saying or narration in which something is expressed in terms of something else” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1987), are sticky.
I’m certainly not the first to notice this nor, I’m sure, am I the first to use that word to describe them. But there’s no doubt in my mind: such “sayings” are sticky.
As I embark upon another school year, I often meditate on the internal images that shape how I experience my vocation. For many educators, it is helpful to keep a meaningful image in mind for the purpose of re-orienting ourselves to the immense value of what we do on a daily basis to nourish the image of God in our students. Images pack a powerful punch.