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The Academy, the Polis, and the Resurgence of Religion: An Interview with Graham Ward

As early as middle school, students attend different classes for their different subjects—Math, English, Science, Social Studies, et cetera. By the time they reach college, students choose which discipline they want to focus in—their “major.” After majoring in a specific field, some students go on to “master” it—be it in Education, Divinity, Biochemistry, or British... Read More

Back to Storytelling: An Interview with Godly Play Trainer, Gertrud Nelson

(Introduction by Cindy Spencer, Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA) Developed by Jerome Berryman and rooted in the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, Godly Play is a method of faith formation that is based on the work of Sofia Cavalletti, founder of the Maria Montessori Association for the Religious Formation of the Child.... Read More

Pavlovian responses

if you give a kid an out, he’ll take it, retreating to windowed spaces where he can color his anger red, green, and purple— those are the colors they tell him angry is. if he mixes them together, they’ll be black— an intelligent response! several hullahoops later, we’ll give a sticker to the doggie in the window.  Read More

Breathing Lessons: A Vision for Campus Ministries in the Twenty-First Century

Campus Ministries: Breathing Lessons for the “Vertigo of the Great Deeps” Among the many unusual perils of deep-sea diving is le vertige des grandes profoundeurs, a French phrase meaning “the vertigo of the great deeps.” The phrase communicates the human brain’s response to the serenity of life at the bottom of the sea; as ocean divers reach extreme depths, the peace... Read More

A Communion of Tears: Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 and the Fellowship of Human Suffering

[A]ll religious experience, no matter how solitary, is suffused with the presence of others, whether in the history one has absorbed or in the language in which one thinks and prays. —Natalie Zemon Davis writing on French theologian Michel de Certeau New York Review of Books, May 15, 2008 As a baby I’m sure I bawled with the best of them, but since then I’ve never been... Read More

The Love of God and the Love of Learning

Introduction When I was pressed a couple of months ago to submit a title for this commencement address,1 I anticipated taking note of the changes that have occurred in society, culture, and the academy over these past several years, and then saying something about the challenges that face you and me as Christian scholars in this new situation, for the changes have been enormous.... Read More

The Monk and the Hymn: Encountering Grace in the Work of Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk, aside from having one of the most enjoyable names in history, is also on the short list of all-time great, influential jazz musicians. I am not a jazz expert, but I still find a great deal of enjoyment when I listen to Monk’s music. At best, I have a novice understanding of his musicianship, but I know that it was common for him to use discordant notes and... Read More

Learning Like a Christian: An Interview with Stanley Hauerwas

As students across the country converge upon college and university campuses to embark upon another year of education, few of them will realize that they are doing exactly what the powers-that-be want them to do. Universities in the United States, especially research universities, regularly advertise themselves as places of progressive and liberal perspectives whose faculty... Read More

Working for Transformation: An Interview with Suresh Canagarajah

Teaching English overseas has become something of a “gap year” for many young Americans; if your post-college options seem limited, or your job feels stagnant, or you simply have an itch to travel, finding a job teaching English as a second or foreign language is a sexy option. But the international spread of the English language is fraught with problems and inequality—why... Read More

Marking Time

I glance at the clock again—I hoped to finish tonight’s stack by nine o’clock. What slows me the most are the head-scratchers: “Wuthering Heights is a very romantic story that shows readers how true love can conquer all obstacles.” Or “The Hobbit is a good book, but reading is not what I prefer to do.” I do some neck stretches and rub the pencil-smeared edge of my... Read More