Faithful responses to work, family, and everyday life
At a reunion of our seminary's class of 1965, I talked to pastors who grieve that they have not left the mainline church better than they found it. They were faithful to their moment, but that moment blew away.
My Italian is rusty. When I go to church in Rome and try to follow along, I'm reminded of Woolf's "incessant shower of innumerable atoms."
Perhaps normal people no longer assume that church is part of what it means to be normal. Or perhaps the idea of a normal center was flawed all along.
As a child, I liked to survey strangers about what it means to be human. Brandon Stanton has created a fully realized version of what I was doing.
We just took our son to college for his first year. It was hard for me, scary/exciting for him, and wounding for his mother.
A student I taught with recalls licking honey from Hebrew letters as a child. My own memories of religious education are less auspicious.
Jesus went slowly, purposefully into the eye of the storm. Only through the storm would he find what he was looking for.
Critics view genealogy as a kind of ersatz historiography, an individualistic reconstruction of the past. But there is more to family tree building.
I can still smell the wet canvas and sawdust of my father's revivals. He believed that any self-respecting revival was held in a tent.
Anthony C. Yu died this spring. I am still discovering the profound influence this teacher had on me.
After I gave a talk for the 70th anniversary of Bonhoeffer's death, I got a letter saying he's been drained of meaning. Here's what I replied.
All I remember from The Magic Stones is the image of a young man, some stones and blocks, and an experiment revealing the most perfect shape.
The mainline has long congratulated itself for being prophetic because it's good at voting for progressive agendas. But change happens at the local level.
In To the Lighthouse, two people who don't get along find themselves looking at a bowl of fruit. "Looking together," writes Woolf, "united them."
Stephanie Paulsell teaches at Harvard Divinity School.
Carol Zaleski is professor of world religions at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Samuel Wells is the vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and author of Learning to Dream Again.
M. Craig Barnes is president of Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Pastor as Minor Poet.
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