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When Art Disrupts Religion: An Interview with Philip Salim Francis

By Gregory WolfeApril 25, 2017

Just released by Oxford University Press, When Art Disrupts Religion: Aesthetic Experience and the Evangelical Mind has received praise from such leading scholars as David Morgan and Randall Balmer. Image editor Gregory Wolfe recently interviewed the author, Philip Salim Francis. Image: Your book has the provocative title When Art Disrupts Religion: Aesthetic Experience and the…

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This Place is an Altar

By Jason BrunerApril 25, 2017

Pastor David—strong, sincere, and confident in his pressed shirt and polished shoes—greets me in the doorway. “This place,” he pauses, looking me in the eye, “is an altar.” He seems genuinely glad to have an American in attendance, but I am in an entirely different sort of mood. I’m in Kampala attempting to conduct research…

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Praying for a Hurricane on an Ordinary Wednesday Afternoon

By A.G. HarmonApril 24, 2017

  “It is easier to survive a category five hurricane than it is to get through an ordinary Wednesday afternoon.” That paraphrase of Walker Percy (from his essay, “Diagnosing the Modern Malaise”) was suggested to me by my friend Caroline Langston Jarboe. I was wondering out loud why I would give anything to have back…

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Poetry Friday: “Sewing Box”

By Murray BodoApril 21, 2017

We don’t think enough—or at least I don’t—about how objects can contain memory. But Murray Bodo’s poem “Sewing Box” shows us how: in this box in which memory is literally contained. Each of the four stanzas takes us deeper into the box. At first it’s just “the busy / sewing box I’d organize on visits…

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The Eye Behind the Camera: Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson

By Nick OlsonApril 20, 2017

When we first see the close-up of the dead bird on the ground, we wonder why. It’s only a few scenes later that we return to the site of the bird to see two young children, twin brother and sister, asking their mother and grandfather if they can go outside to bury the dead bird.…

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Always Becoming

By Scott CairnsApril 19, 2017

The following is adapted from an address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing commencement ceremony last month. For centuries, wise men and women of various traditions have troubled the terms being and becoming, without arriving at anything like conclusion. We affirm the beauty and joy of being—being writers, being Christians, being…

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Finding My Sister in Young Adult Novels

By Natalie VestinApril 18, 2017

Lately all I want to read are young adult novels about sisters. Young adult (YA) lit has a simplicity that creeps up on you. It’s about falling in love and obligations to the world outside of our daily concerns. And it’s usually disturbing as hell, reflective of how, though we say we lose innocence, as…

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Praying the Art of Sean Scully: The Match of Prose and Visual Art

By Peggy RosenthalApril 17, 2017

When I finished reading Paul Anel’s article on the chapel art of Sean Scully, in the current issue of Image (#91), I was moved to close my eyes in prayer. It wasn’t verbal prayer. It was a sitting within a sense of the sacred. Both Scully’s art and Anel’s graced account of it had drawn me…

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Palm Fronds

By Bryan BlissApril 13, 2017

My daughter held the palm frond as if she’d never seen such a thing. I gave mine a perfunctory wave. We were both visitors, standing in the foyer of an elementary school turned church. The pastor was a friend, but in the ten minutes before a worship service—especially during Holy Week—I wasn’t going to latch…

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God is a Wild Old Dog

By Christiana N. PetersonApril 12, 2017

God is a wild old dog / Someone left out on the highway —Patty Griffin “Wild Old Dog” It is the first week of spring and I sit in the small cemetery on our community property. The bench underneath me is green and mossy from the confusion of a mild winter that left us with…

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