The Nightstand

Watching Movies and Wondering about Metaphysics in an Anxious Age

Casey Spinks muses on zombie shows, Pixar movies, Scorsese films, metaphysical realism, and the philosophical fate of modern culture in his review of Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature, by Anthony Wachs and Jon Schaff.

Remembering Our Names After the Fall

Rural Rebellion by Ross Benes, examines the changing politics of rural Nebraska from the perspective of a native son living in Brooklyn. Nebraska is a cycle of poems by Kwame Dawes, a Ghanaian-born poet teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Both address the identity crisis of our time and call us to remember the real names of things.

Reading with Our Hearts: A Review of Enjoying The Bible

Enjoying the Bible is a book about beholding the deep riches of beauty in Scripture and allowing its literary elements to shape our humanity. A literary approach to Scripture teaches our students how to love rather than merely what to think.

Teaching (or Cultivating) Sustainability (or Inhabitance), Ten Years On

As utopian as "religious education" and "local food tours" may seem, that doesn't mean we can't approach them with a hope for real formation work in mind.

Organized Leisure and the Construction of American Community 

Was the experience of “community” in an Ohio town during Ervin’s lifetime fundamentally more compelling and authentic than has been possible after the post-war economic boom? Or should Ervin’s passion for organizing and social service be seen as an attempt to compensate for an actual fragility of communal life?

Dedication: In Praise of the Long-Haulers

Pete Davis lauds the “long-haulers,” people who long ago ignored the chorus which urges our younger people to “keep your options open,” and to keep building up for your Main Chance in life, the payoff after all that meritocratic, sweaty ladder-climbing.

The Restorative Tonic of Wildness

Particularly in a culture that values comfort and convenience, we need to listen to those who have encountered wilderness with the humility and attentiveness necessary to receive its instruction.

“Passionate in the Pursuit of Awe”: A Review of American Divine

In “American Divine,” it would seem that the pursuit is not so much a pursuit of divinity but rather the experience of it—the awe, which in this instance is private and individualistic, potentially addictive, and more an expression of personal epiphanies than a community-shared theology.

Making Meaning in the Haunted Midwest

Those of us committed to the Midwest and its literature can and should mourn the damages done to our region by our habits of transience. But we must also recognize, as these two books help us do, that it is not just the Midwest, but life itself, that is “fluid and impermanent.”

A Book to Guide the Church: The 1662 Book of Common...

The IE is essentially the 1662 BCP of old, but unlike the Cambridge edition it is not just that and nothing more—it is the 1662 judiciously tweaked and supplemented in a way calculated to attract both newcomers to the BCP and long-time Anglicans.