Once you get hooked on W. G. Sebald's work it is hard not to regard most other literature as frivolous. He is, however, an acquired taste, like single-malt scotch. The first words of his complex and heavy prose are hard to swallow, but even if you have to grimace as the words go down, you will find that nothing else tastes quite the same.
Food kills. Though you can drive safely while eating a hamburger, and nobody has proven that donuts are addictive, the fast food culture is as dangerous as an underage driver with a six-pack or a middle-aged man with a carton of smokes. Of course, food is necessary for life, but that only makes the American food industry more insidious.
The rumor swept through my circle of friends like wildfire: Bob Dylan had been converted to Christianity (by Larry Norman, no less) and was going to release a religious album! This was many years before Christian rock became mainstream, with mega-hit bands like Creed.
Anyone who has been on a faculty search committee knows how hard it is to evaluate candidates. You need to look not only at their intellectual credentials and professional competence but also at how they would fit into the institution. But institutional ethos is usually only vaguely defined and talking about personality issues can be awkward.
Academic theology can have a future only if theologians themselves are interested in it. Why should anybody else read it if theologians are so caught up in experimenting with every philosophical movement and political program that they ignore their own field? If this volume is any indication, theology seems to have rediscovered itself as a tradition with its own resources and issues.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.