Category Archives: Religion

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

“What sorts of things do you read?” people ask me, when they find out that reading is almost my only hobby. “Almost anything,” I tell them. “All sorts. Horror, romance, literary fiction, mysteries, religion, biography, history, psychology, science writing. Well … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | 15 Comments

The Bush Was Blazing But Not Consumed

I’m taking a class at my church called Education for Ministry. It’s basically a four-year study of the Bible and church history. Each year, the program has a theme, and participants read something related to that theme. This year, our … Continue reading

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Retreat Reading

I just returned from a weekend on retreat at the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a remarkable weekend, filled with time for prayer and reflection—and all the quiet I could want. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion | 4 Comments

A Jesuit Off-Broadway

Those who know me well will probably know right away why this book appealed to me. It’s Jesuits. It’s theatre. How could I not want to read it? What’s more, it’s by James Martin, whose work I’ve previously enjoyed. So … Continue reading

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Joss Whedon and Religion: Essays on an Angry Atheist’s Explorations of the Sacred

Most people know me as a reader, but I believe that a good TV show or movie can be every bit as rewarding as a good book. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of those TV shows that I return … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion, Short Stories/Essays | Tagged | 15 Comments

Acedia and Me

Acedia (more often spelled accidie) is a spiritual state that’s a bit difficult to define. It shares some topography with depression and despair, but it can’t be cured with medication. It has been conflated with the sin of sloth, but … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion | 8 Comments

A Time to Keep Silence

Last year, one of the best books I read was Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts: his account of his 1933 journey, on foot, at the age of 19, from Rotterdam to Hungary. Fermor’s humor, his humility, his lively … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Travel/ Exploration | 13 Comments

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

The problem of human pain is big, but Anne Lamott’s new book about it is small, probably because she knows that there’s no definitive answer to why we suffer and no point spending pages and pages on that fact. Instead, … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Lion’s World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia

Despite growing up bookish in a Christian home, Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, did not discover C.S. Lewis until he was in his teens, when he read several of his apologetic works. When he eventually turned to the Narnia … Continue reading

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The Heart of Islam

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, wrote The Heart of Islam in 2002 “with the express purpose of explaining certain basic aspects of Islam and widely discussed issues in a manner acceptable to mainstream Islamic … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | 4 Comments