for all those who keep the season of holy fasting we call “lent” in english (or those who are interested in world religions for whatever reason), i’ve got a new essay out in the benedictine magazine spirit & life.
it’s based on an interaction i had with some other guys here in milwaukee last year as well as some studying of the nature of christian atonement i did years and years ago now (when i first read william langland’s tremendous poem, piers plowman—read piers if you haven’t!).
all i’ll say here is that the essay involves the devil as a monstrous fish and the holy cross as a tricky hook. enjoy!
As anyone who is familiar with me, my writing, and my teaching knows, I am a big fan of the arcane, the obscure. And that’s in keeping with my personality and the way I live my life. And so I do not often weigh in on politics and social movements, as I prefer to be private, keep my peace, and cultivate charity and openness where I actually am.
But in recent months with all that’s been going on, I did feel a need to contribute something to the surge in attention to the racial inequalities and injustices in American society. But I did it in a bit of a round-about way, as I tend to do. In response particularly to Fr. Bryan Massingale’s interview with Commonweal that I heard several weeks ago, I wrote up an essay that Dappled Things just published on their blog, “deep down things.”
It’s certainly an “in-house” argument pitched primarily at fellow Catholics, but I hope that it would be of interest to any person of good will. While its argument is about the nature of the Church, it is exactly in its surprising structural and cultural diversity that my point could mean something of import to both Catholics and anyone else “looking in” on this internal reckoning going on right now.
Anyhow, for what it’s worth.
One of my favorite activities during the school year is taking my Honors Program students to a performance at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
When we went this February, I feverishly started writing notes in the program’s margins. The resulting short essay on electronic media, art, consumerism, etc. was just published by the folks at Dappled Things–many thanks to them, Marquette Honors, the MSO, and especially my students!