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Separation and Longing: Meet Tobaron Waxman

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Tobaron Waxman is a Canadian artist, curator, performer, singer and archivist currently traveling around Eastern Europe. Waxman is transgender and a former Orthodox Jew–identities that would seem to be in conflict when one considers the immutable gender binary that shapes the lives, experiences and actions of most practicing Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. Waxman’s work…

Visions of Hilma af Klint

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Decades before Vasily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian and abstract art as we popularly know it, before all the colors and lines and shapes and the symbolism and spiritualism that you may have learned undergirds it all, an unassuming Swedish woman was listening and creating something monumental. In the first years of the twentieth century, Hilma…

Art as Survival: The Terezín Concentration Camp

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I go to lots of classical music concerts, but I’ve never been so moved as I was by this one. It wasn’t just the profundity of the music; it was also, and especially, the context in which it was composed. The concert was called Music from Terezín Concentration Camp. I’m ashamed to admit that I…

Crying in Church

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By the time my father announced he would be retiring after forty-two years of ministry, his presence—perhaps even more than God’s—was wrapped up in the meaning of church for me. Except for visits home, I hadn’t gone to church for the past ten years I’d lived hundreds of miles away. By the time I moved…

The Gospel According to Fleabag

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This is a love story. If there is such a thing as the Gospel of Fleabag, then this is how it begins. In the beginning, there was Fleabag herself, patron saint of jumpsuits, standing at the bathroom sink, face smeared inexplicably with blood. She glances at the camera–at you–and smiles. “This is a love story,”…

Between Friends: Revisiting Rushmore

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Decades ago, in the faraway land of Orange County, California, Jennifer Hawk and Tania Runyan shared a number of classes but traveled in different social circles. Tania was scary nerdy awkward—E.T. and Laura Ingalls’ lovechild–and Jen was scary sexy cool, black eyeliner, skateboards, and bands Tania couldn’t pronounce. But in the past few years they’ve…

Three Kinds of Elevation: New Concert Films from Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, and Sam Phillips

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Ascent I’m under headphones above 10,000 feet, and Aretha Franklin is flying the plane. At least it feels that way. Anne and I are headed to what we call “a homecoming,” an annual gathering of authors at the edge of the Frio River in the Texas hill country — inspirations, influences, kindred spirits. I’m feeling…

Reckoning: An Interview with Silas House

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Silas House’s most recent book is Southernmost, a literary page-turner about an evangelical pastor who kidnaps his own son after standing up against intolerance in a small rural community. Southernmost is a meditation on love and its consequences in a quickly changing America. Among the book’s honors are the Weatherford Award in Appalachian Literature and a longlisting for…

Zahra’s Paradise: A Lament for Iran

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In their their graphic novel, Zahra’s Paradise, author Amir and illustrator Khalil open with a mundane but striking image for life in Iran. A family’s dog has a litter of puppies, and the boy begins to name them after figures from Persian literature. The father, however, chases the mother dog off with rocks, shouting, “Shoo,…

Poems for the Time Being: Why You Should Read C.P. Cavafy

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In a conversation featured in Image 100, poets A. E. Stallings and Adrianne Kalfopoulou recount their experiences with Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees now living in an unauthorized settlement in Athens, Greece. In bringing the arts to displaced families living on the margins of an ancient city, the two found themselves drawn into the…

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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 week gifted writers offer personal essays that make fresh connections between the world of faith and the world of art. We also publish interviews with artists who inspire and challenge us.

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