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The Unexpected Rigors of Sister Helen Prejean’s River of Fire

By Caroline LangstonNovember 11, 2019

When my mother was still alive, one of the stories she used to tell was about the role of Catholics in the desegregation of my Mississippi Delta hometown during the 1960s. One white priest, a “Father Love,” she said, had come to town to be in residence at St. Francis, the “black Catholic church,” and…

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The Place of the Imagination in Spiritual Experience

By Richard ChessApril 8, 2019

Does the imagination play a role in spiritual experience, I asked. How about in religious experience? On a Thursday morning late in the semester, a dozen undergraduates–honors students–and I gathered in a circle in the Laurel Forum, a room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one wall, another wall all windows opening onto the campus quad. A…

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A Theologian Reads Karl Ove Knausgaard

By Justin Shaun CoyleDecember 19, 2017

My reading habits, I confess, aren’t literary. I probably lack the training and the gifts necessary to make them so. Instead, they’re theological. I read like a porn addict scours the Internet. Only my pornography is God-talk and my Internet some piece of literature or another. Thus I’m sent into near ecstasy when Stavrogin and…

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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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The Neglected Garden, Part I

By Caroline LangstonAugust 15, 2016

When my father built the house where I was born, the land was flat and there was little vegetation on it. It had once been the Curran family’s cotton plantation, my mother later told me—sold and subdivided for a row of little Cape Cods and ranch houses, all arrayed in pastel asbestos siding. Including the…

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