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The Philanthropist

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When NBC announces their prime-time schedule for the fall next month, the lineup may or may not include a show called “The Philanthropist,” on which I will be a writer if it airs. The character in question is a fortysomething Wall Street billionaire who, dissatisfied with checkbook charity, initiates his own one-man humanitarian missions from…

Ears to Hear

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Sometimes my worlds collide. I attended a concert this past weekend…a suburban orchestra conducted by a friend of mine. We hadn’t gotten together in a while and it was decided that we’d meet up after the concert for some drinks to catch up. I hadn’t realized that it was a pops concert (not my thing…

Obama, Faulkner, and the Open Wound

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“In the same spirit, on Rachel’s principles, I’d been pushed out like a blind finger, to probe a nonexistent space, a whiteboy integrating public schools which were just then being abandoned, which were becoming only rehearsals for prison. Her mistake was so beautiful, so stupid, so American.” Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem “I can no…

Beauty Will Save The World

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In Washington, DC’s Forgotten Quadrant the L’Enfant Plaza canyon brims with shapeless bureaucratic hives. It is a zone where plants die, words recycle, and paper-bloated cubes shiver like snowglobes when commuter trains pass. On a bad day, the red tape flows freely and fed lifers nap miserably. On a good day, your tax dollars are…

At the Crossroads: Science, Art, & Faith

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Given my abysmal expectations for coverage of religious matters in the mainstream news industry, it was a pleasure to read–both online and in my local newspaper!–about the 2008 Templeton Prize recipient: Polish physicist, cosmologist, philosopher and Catholic priest, Michael Heller While the story is clearly a plus for those laboring at the intersection of science…

A Generation of Byrons

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Mark Edmundson of the University of Virginia has published a fascinating article in the latest Chronicle of Higher Education, describing the current generation of students. They are an active, intelligent, vulnerable bunch: “Its members have a spectacular hunger for life and more life. They want to study, travel, make friends, make more friends, read everything…

North and South

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In Maine, people say, “If you don’t do winter, you don’t deserve summer.” But after I fell on the ice one too many times this winter, I flew south. On the plane, I read in USA Today about the recent Pew Trust U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which noted that Northern New England and the West…

Absolution and other Poetic Blessings

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Reading Rafael Campo’s new book of poems, The Enemy (Duke UP, 2007), makes me appreciate what intriguing religious poetry can come from someone outside of conventional religious practice. Campo grew up in the Catholic church and culture of his Cuban-American community, but — according to his memoir-essay in The Poetry of Healing — he left…

Equivocal Grace

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When you have a well-known story about a political leader in eighteenth century England who sets out to abolish the slave trade based on his Christian convictions; and when the sub-plot involves the epiphanic conversion of the man who wrote the most influential hymn of all time, Amazing Grace; and when the screenplay of a…

Super Swarm

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You were probably a better citizen than I was and watched the final Clinton/Obama debate before last Tuesday’s primaries in Ohio and Texas. I meant to, at least, and then got stuck in a Mega Disasters segment on the History Channel, entitled “Super Swarm.” Its subject? Locusts. Its object? Me. Viewers or victims, sometimes it’s…

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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