The Wittenberg Door

No Justice, No Peace? René Girard and Endless Rivalries

The rivalry we’re experiencing goes deeper than symptoms, political principles, and even the need for responsive, wise leaders. Indeed, it may bypass principles and wisdom altogether. But to explain it, I need the help of anthropologist and literary critic René Girard.

Losing Elections and Telling Better Stories

As we enter this season of Advent, we would do well to share the skepticism of Mary and her misfit Son about the powers of this age to establish an unshakeable kingdom.

The Insistent Cough of Grace: Remembering Frederick Buechner

His books are not a diminishment of historic and intellectual Christianity. They are a translation of Aquinas, Barth, Calvin, and the rest into the language we all speak innately but are all too often deaf to: the language of our quotidian lives, in which the undifferentiated mass of uncertain “certain things” forms the alphabet of grace.

Streams, Trees, and People: Reflections on the Analogy of Being

If we can foster a freedom to flourish rather than our modern freedom of choice, and if we can recognize versions of a common good appropriate to different real entities of social order from the family to the town to the nation, integrated with the rest of nature at scales from the local and regional to the biosphere, then the need to impose order through laws and regulations is minimized, replaced by deliberative, cooperative action towards a common good.

A Case for the Psychiatric, Part 2: Dostoevsky’s Christianity

There is something new in Doestoevsky's insights into the psychology of “the Human Being,” beyond the Church Fathers, or at least that's the case made. If this is true, especially in the light of the complete mental breakdown happening all around us, shouldn't we be redirecting our time and energy toward incorporating this and making it central to our thought and lives?

Diversity, Race, and Radical Hospitality in a Bible-based Community

We academics unfortunately often fall into the trap of pride (particularly of the self-involved, self-satisfying, institutional kind), and hence a humbling such as this conference delivered was probably much needed. I have a Christian duty, as an educator and as a member of a Christian community, to think systematically about how I can live up, as a teacher and scholar, to the values of inclusion and equality

College: A Place for Training Exiles

It is a hard task to learn to plant roots in a place from which you know you will be uprooted. It is also the task that we, mirroring Israel in Jeremiah 29, are called to do. Through the process of planting gardens, marrying, having children, raising our children, and being planted and watered, we can shadow what our true home is to our neighbors and loved ones.

Severe Mercies and Magnanimous Despair

If students grew up moving from city to city, or if they hail from a soulless suburb, or if they are inevitably complicit in economic and social systems they deplore, does reading Berry put them on a path to despair?

‘Spiritual but not Religious’ Revisited: An Urgent Case for the...

Look at our priests or bishops now. Do they seem any more advanced in the cure than anybody else? Some do. But so does the guy who took the snow tires off my car last week, and I don’t know if he’s ever darkened the doors of a Church. I just know that he had an air of spiritual freedom about him, such that somebody might think, “I want what he has. I wonder what makes him tick.” There’s a beginning.

Found in the Cosmos

People with cosmic self-respect can reconcile themselves with the possibility that there is no conductor, and that after death comes only silence. And they can muster the strength to keep listening for the fragments, to keep imperfectly piecing together the rhythm of the music, and to keep dancing along as best they can with those they love.