Shortly before David Steinmetz died last November, I saw him at a wedding that I was officiating. In the homily I told the story of one of my favorite Century articles—an essay that Steinmetz wrote in 2007 about Mother Teresa’s struggles with doubt.
When I started my graduate studies in theology last year, I never anticipated a curriculum with vocabulary like air rights, luxury condominiums, or student protest. But Union Theological Seminary faces an ethical and financial conundrum, one that threatens to fracture our community from within.
I reported for jury service on a Monday morning. I had just returned to town after a week away, and there was a lot to catch up on in the office. But I wasn’t worried. A clergy friend assured me that when the attorneys learned that I’m a pastor they would probably let me go.
“Make America Safe Again,” said the signs and speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention. The desire to feel and be safe crosses political boundaries; it informs a litany of human actions. Yet the very concept seems unexamined. What makes for safety? Is it the same as feeling safe? Is it the same as comfort?