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Good Letters

Why Art?

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Window panes

I’m propped in bed reading my current bedtime novel. Pausing to reflect on a particularly engaging passage, my eyes raise from the novel—and rest on the shelves of poetry volumes on the opposite wall. Some of these books I open often; others have sat there untouched for years. Yet I need them all there. When…

Brooklyn: A Drama of Discernment

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Brooklyn

One of the hardest things in life is having two good choices that are completely exclusive of each other. It’s not a matter of picking a major in college, regretting it, and changing to another track; not a matter of taking a job at the wrong place and eventually finding your way to another one.…

Kolam: The Beauty of Uselessness

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Kolam, India

This one’s for Carin Ruff, and by way of answering my niece Kate’s question. A little more than twenty years ago, I spent a summer traveling around India under the auspices of the Fulbright-Hays program, a summer fellowship grant program for teachers. Over the course of about six weeks, we traveled to some twelve cities,…

Creating Sacred Literature

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Goya Crucifixion

“We are just at the beginning,” Charles Taylor wrote in his lumpy but essential tome, A Secular Age, “of a new age of religious searching, whose outcome no one can foresee.” If we are just at the beginning of a new age, it stands to reason that we are also at the ending of an…

The Erotic Powers of the Holy Spirit

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rodin the kiss

My thirteen-year-old son had seen the Viagra commercials for years, but never understood what they meant, until finally, he asked what Viagra is and does, and I told him. Now he has this new vocabulary that includes the phrase “erectile dysfunction,” and another galaxy of humorous opportunities has opened to him. He begins to explore…

How Much God Loves Us

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water

He was born with cerebral palsy and he has it all the way up until he is completely underwater, when, he says, his whole body is pleasantly different, his limbs smooth and loose and elegant. I hold him under his arms in the pool and he can walk and tell me everything. He takes three…

The Confessions of X: An Interview with Suzanne M. Wolfe, Part 2

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Suzanne M. Wolfe

Continued from yesterday. Read Part 1 here. GW: One of the most interesting aspects of The Confessions of X is the way that X herself responds to Augustine’s intellectual passions, from his Manichean phase to Platonism. She’s not an intellectual but she’s no pushover and she instinctively challenges Augustine… SMW: The last thing I wanted…

The Confessions of X: An Interview with Suzanne M. Wolfe, Part 1

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Confessions of X

Earlier this week, HarperCollins/Nelson released The Confessions of X, Suzanne M. Wolfe’s second novel. Image editor Gregory Wolfe interviewed her about the book. Gregory Wolfe: So I guess doing this interview with you is a case of raw nepotism. You OK with that? Suzanne M. Wolfe: I prefer my nepotism medium rare. GW: Your second…

Where to Hang Your Grief

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Ross Laycock Memory

My daughters Lydia and Becca, ages 12 and 10, are thoroughly delighted by the contemporary art collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. They hurry to the Warhol soup cans and Lichtenstein comics they recognize from art class, a large sculpture made entirely of clear plastic buttons, and plenty of outrageously “simple” pieces they insist they…

What Shall I Know at the End of My Days?

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Vacant Urban Street

When I come to the end of my days, what shall I say I know of life in this world? And what shall God say, when the world comes to the end of days, that God has come to know of life in this one of all created worlds? Carolina chickadee, Kafka, vocoder.    I…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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