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Did Joseph Forgive His Brothers?

We still claim to think well of forgiveness, but it has in fact very nearly lost its moral weight by having been translated into an act of random kindness whose chief value lies in the sense of personal release it gives us.” So writes Wilfred McClay in a recent essay, “The Strange Persistence of . . . . Continue Reading »

Geoffrey Hill, Prodigal

Among poets writing in English during the last forty years, Geoffrey Hill was sometimes named the greatest one alive, but he was always named the most difficult one to read. He had come to live and teach in America in the 1980s, along with a brilliant group which included Paul Muldoon at . . . . Continue Reading »

CoWo, NoGrow

Back in 1998, at a theological conference, I heard a pastor (we’ll call him Pastor V.) of my denomination (the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod) recount what had driven him out of his second call, a mission church in Lawrence, Kansas. It was the early ’90s, and Lawrence was one of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pagan Piety

Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion  by jörg rüpke  translated by david m. b. richardson  princeton, 576 pages, $39.95 In August of 410, for the first time in eight centuries, the city of Rome was sacked. While the fall of the ancient capital to an army of renegade Goths might . . . . Continue Reading »

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