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Crimes in the Name of Freedom

Of the several monks who taught us English, Father Allen was the easiest to relate to. Father P. was ­obviously gay—we used different terms in those days—which ­created a certain unease among boys during adolescence. As for Father G., though he was just a few years older than we were, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Last Lambeth Conference

July’s was probably the last recognizable assembly of the Lambeth Conference we shall see in this generation (and perhaps the next). No longer will “all” the bishops of the Anglican Communion gather, but only some, and only from some places. No longer will the deliberation of the Communion’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rise of Femcel Noir

Myth, legend, and the Bible all warn of the dangers of looking where we ought not. Those who turn their gaze in the wrong direction are cursed, blinded, turned to stone or salt, transformed into deer, and hunted down by their own hounds. Freud, the great modern mythologist, redirected retribution . . . . Continue Reading »

The Being of God

Essentially, this is a book about the importance of worshiping the right God: It does not quite argue that—in the immortal words of the Song of Roland—“Christians are right and pagans are wrong,” but it questions what counts as talking truthfully about God. It is an . . . . Continue Reading »

Cannabusiness Goes to Pot

My one and ­only run-in with the police occurred on a hot summer night in Portland, Oregon, a month or so before my junior year of high school. My friend and I, both seventeen years old, had—like more than 44 percent of Americans in our age group—­recently been introduced to cannabis, . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology for the Long Haul

Richard Malone, sometime director of the Doctrine Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, once approached a Catholic benefactor in the hope of a substantial donation for a fledgling theological institute. “Theology!” erupted the philanthropist. “It’s theology that got . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

At a theology conference some months ago, I mentioned to a friend that, although I think Karl Barth’s doctrine of the Word of God is one of modern theology’s great triumphs, academic “Barthianism” seemed to me a dead end. My friend walked me over to an eminent Barth scholar, who promptly . . . . Continue Reading »

New Faith

When I was twenty-four, I spent several weeks sleeping on the floor of the Brussels Salvation Army, waiting to start a French course. I was on my way to mission work in Burundi. I shared a room with a half dozen other men from various backgrounds. One, named Gershom, was a Romanian Jew, who had . . . . Continue Reading »

American Nightmare

Late at night, after the dishes have all been cleared and the kids put to bed, most of my friends cast a quick, furtive look around to make sure no one’s watching, grab their phones, slide into bed, and indulge their wildest and most sensuous desires. No, they’re not looking at pornography. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Work of Mourning

In a significant essay entitled “Mourning and Melancholia,” Freud wrote of “the work of mourning,” meaning the psychic process whereby a cherished object is finally laid to rest, as it were buried in the unconscious, and the ego liberated from its grip. Until the work of mourning has been . . . . Continue Reading »

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