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Arts & Faith Top 10 films of 2017: Part 1

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Cinema at its best has the power to transform minds, to inspire generations, and to speak across geographical, intellectual, and educational borders. Cinema can encourage, motivate, and challenge the hearts, minds, and souls of anyone willing to engage within the visual journey. We’ve witnessed stories of faith, sacrifice, redemption, and persecution. We’ve discovered the call…

Poetry Friday: “Prodigal”

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Jones’ poem “Prodigal” welcomes us into an inviting family scene. We can easily visualize the speaker and his father “watching the children / playing tag on the lawn and running in circles,” and we can feel the immediacy of the “aged father” as he “leans toward me ever so slightly / and out of nowhere…

My Frankenstein

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My Frankenstein is first and foremost a novel. A custard-colored Pound Classic published by Penguin UK, to be exact. Though I’ve taught from several editions, as the novel turns two hundred it’s to that tiny, flimsy volume with which I first made contact that my thoughts turn. My wife and I were in Oxford, England,…

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Hidden Identity

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My annual family Christmas letter swelled from a single paragraph into a sixteen-page spread before I finally admitted at age thirty-seven—to myself, more than anyone else—that I wanted to be a writer, a desire that’d been brewing during a decade as a fulltime wife, mother, and dedicated church volunteer. I hadn’t always wanted to write.…

We Want Something Just Like This

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“Something Just Like This” was one of the biggest hits of 2017. It reached number three on Billboard’s top 100. It was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. The single has sold millions all over the world. “Something Just Like This” is a collaboration between Coldplay and the more recent…

Phantom Thread: A Union of Psyche and Eros

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Anyone blessed enough to receive a good classical education is somewhere along the way warned that he must not oversimplify—must not reduce everything to allegory or elevate it to archetype. The world is a complicated place, after all, and there are usually multiple causes and manifold effects. Phenomena do not fit forms so neatly. Nevertheless,…

Poetry Friday: “Graveyard Prayer”

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Robert Cording’s prose poem reminds me of my late Aunt Mary, who, at roughly the same age as the poem’s narrator, chose her gravesite for the sightlines it offered—in her case, a clear view of the horizon where the sun rises and where, she believed, Jesus would return on Resurrection Day. She visited regularly, each…

Pearl of Hope: Personal Shopper and the New Year

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Near the end of 2017, I rewatched Oliver Assayas’s ghost story film Personal Shopper not long after my wife asked if I had any New Year’s resolutions. It occurred to me that Personal Shopper may be an interesting film to frame the answer to that question. For all its apparent ambiguity, Personal Shopper seems clear…

The Shore after the Storm

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The sun rises over the ocean where I live, two miles from the Atlantic. You can watch it set over the bay too if you’re lucky enough, at sundown, to be on the thin barrier island that separates the mainland from the sea. The water here in the mid-Atlantic region isn’t the spectacular aqua, teal,…

The Love Song of Pepper Smith

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The day of Pepper Smith’s funeral, it was a stiff fifteen degrees—ironic weather for a boy from Gulfport, Mississippi. Pepper was my dear old friend for twenty-three years; we had traversed some odd and complicated decades and had ended up living not far from one another in the D.C. area. We talked all the time,…

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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