The Other Assisi

From Web Exclusives

It turned out there was no need to condemn Sigisimondo to hell—his own defeats brought him to his knees. The Tempio Malatestiano, moreover, is now an active church, and people are trickling in for Saturday confession. Our group stops for discussion, and we concede a reluctant parallel with our own American Sigisimondo, and then we imagine the ruins of a bankrupt Trump hotel, its deserted lobby the setting for a humble Mass. Continue Reading »

Where the Icons Aren't Yet Dry

From Web Exclusives

This monk is not letting us go without a sermon, but he’s earned it. We—a group of scholars brought together for a conference in Romania celebrating the legacy of the historian Peter Brown—have been treated well. We are standing in the Neamț monastery library, where the Philokalia, that . . . . Continue Reading »

The Other Internet

From the March 2016 Print Edition

It is not the labor that is divided; but the men,” complains the author. Society produces “morbid thinkers, and miserable workers” because we have separated thought from labor in pursuit of a destructive freedom. What we need instead is a countercultural submission to the patterns of creation, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Ground in Wheaton

From Web Exclusives

The following remarks were among several friendly responses to Professor Miroslav Volf’s presentation, “Do Christians & Muslims Worship the Same God?” delivered at the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, IL on Feb. 27, 2016. Caught up in national headlines about our presumed Islamophobia, we . . . . Continue Reading »

The Cardinal Virtues & The Walking Dead

From Web Exclusives

An academic friend was visiting from abroad, and after a day of talks and teaching, we wound down around ten o’clock at night. Noticing my exhaustion, he offered a secret to decompression. “Zohmbies, Mahtt,” he counseled in his inimitable Greek accent. So it was that I tuned into my first . . . . Continue Reading »

An American Virgil

From Web Exclusives

Among the more adventurous sallies in church décor in recent memory is the dancing saints sequence at San Francisco’s Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, where Hypatia, Charles Darwin and William Blake among others have been drafted into the communio sanctorum. Perhaps the program is less a . . . . Continue Reading »

Celibacy in the City

From Web Exclusives

The day after the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage this summer, I was in line for the Ferris Wheel with my three year old daughter. An insufficiently directive ride attendant left me confused as to which car to enter. Do we get our own? Do we pile in with strangers? Whatever our options might . . . . Continue Reading »

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Evangelicalism

From Web Exclusives

Sometime in the mid-1990s, sickened by what I perceived as the shallowness of evangelical culture in suburban Wheaton, Illinois, I launched into the post-hippie, proto-hipster nightlife of Chicago. I roamed not yet fully gentrified streets with dropouts and homeless people, under the L-tracks and along the wind-battered shores of the third coast. The counter-culture then radiated from Belmont Avenue, which I imagined to be something like what Haight-Ashbury (since colonized by Ben & Jerry’s) must have been in 1969.Following one such night of seeking suburban Wheaton’s opposite, I experienced a moment of transfixing beauty. I wandered into Lincoln Park Zoo at dawn and had it all to myself—a solitary Adam among the animals. Then, as I watched sea lions frolic in the shallows of their tank I braced myself for a return to Wheaton College where I would reluctantly (and barely) finish my undergraduate degree. In my arrogance, I may have even thought to myself that I was returning to splash in the shallows with evangelicals like the animals before me. Continue Reading »

50 Years from T. S. Eliot

From Web Exclusives

Much already has been and will be said about T. S. Eliot this year, which marks a half-century since his death. Attempts to map his posthumous critical fortunes inevitably convey a downright Biblical pattern—the uniform literary “Hosanna!” of the 1960’s morphing, by the 1990’s, into a collective “Crucify him!” The turnabout is well expressed by literary maven Cynthia Ozick, who displayed something of both attitudes in an exquisite essay entitled T. S. Eliot at 101. Continue Reading »