New today (and yesterday) from the Century:
William Bole on the indignity of gross inequality: "Which view of economic inequality has greater merit, Adam Smith's or the Bible's? It's a trick question: the two are broadly the same."
- Debra Bendis on an Advent retreat: "I found myself staring at the wall. I'd done two- and three-day retreats, but this was four days alone in a cottage, and the stretch of time was unnerving."
- James McCarty on Jesus Christ, occupier: "Historically speaking, there is a nearly universally accepted answer among scholars as to why Jesus was killed: because he occupied the temple."
- Henry Langknecht's lectionary column for Christmas Day: "Mary didn't give birth to an avatar or a name or an idea. Mary didn't give birth to a host of representative samples of humanity's diversity. . . . Jesus already and only looks like Jesus."
- "Stocking for the storm," a poem by Jeanne Murray Walker