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Good Letters

What Poetry Can Teach Us About Parenting in the Age of Trump

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I’ve been working on an essay on another subject for weeks now, taking notes about poetry and desire, desire and the search for God. But whenever I sit down to write, all I can think about are concentration camps. It happens every night when I get in bed, too. I get under the covers, my body begins to…

Truly, a Eucharist

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Years ago, I was riding around the ragged edges of a Washington, D.C., suburb with my brother-in-law, who’s retired now, but who was a real-estate appraiser. We were on a street of modest, slightly-crumbling brick colonials, not unlike the one in which I would eventually live. “Oh, those,” he said, gesturing his arm out the…

Where’s The Healing Temple? The Luminous Being?

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The first gift: a stone that nests in my palm. Turned by sea until the sea delivered it to shore, this oblong, ash-colored stone I lifted, held, and slid into my pocket. A year ago, I took it from Whidbey Island. This offering, this theft. I keep it now by my meditation bench and stack…

Three Metaphors and a Curse on Dostoevsky

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The hip-hop theologian, the secular theologian, and the poet/executive were deep into a podcast conversation about Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” This was only a couple weeks after the video’s release, which meant we were already forgetting about it under the barrage of other news, but I wanted to hear what African Americans who were…

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…

Good Letters

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Jessica Mesman

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Richard Chess
Joanna Penn Cooper
Brad Fruhauff
Caroline Langston
Morgan Meis
Christiana Peterson
Peggy Rosenthal
Tania Runyan
Brian Volck

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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