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A Spider, an Arab, and a Muslim Walk into a Cave

By Fady Joudah Essay

In Ibn Arabi, a totality of faiths were convened. His heart contained within it pastures for deer, monasteries for monks, a temple for idols, a Kaaba around which to parade, tablets for a Torah, and a Quran, as he said in one of his famous verses: “I follow the religion of love wherever its caravans go.”

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Crossed

By Melissa Knox Essay

I was fine with the ceramic statues of Mary, flaming heart jumping out of her chest. I liked the bright blue robe, gold stars, and shell-like halo of the Virgin of Guadalupe. But the big wooden crucifixes, that crown of thorns digging into Jesus’s brown locks, skinny white arms yanked above so that he’s pitched forward—they spook me the way Dracula spooks me.

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A Fire in This House

By Rachel Sturges Essay

In our solemn conversations about the firemen, in our statements of unconditional loyalty and trust, I realize that maybe instead of the moral authority of God in our household, I have given Toby the firemen. Brave and noble, yes, but a shabby substitute for the Almighty.

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Taboret

By Andrew Hendrixson Essay

When I hear my parents’ voices lilt with Midwestern shame, our pernicious lineage, I want to set the bench on fire or bury an axe head into it.

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On Fitzroy Road

By Robert Clark Essay

It is only the forgetting—of our debts, of our teachers and fellows, of our place in the larger story we are unwittingly writing—that is a sin, a crime against memory, against both past and posterity.

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My Brother Beside Me

By Catherine Ricketts Essay

I used to keep my beliefs about hell tucked latent in the hidden place. After Joe died, they began to eat at their cupboard, like moths in a sweater drawer.

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