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This Is the Way the World Ends: A Conversation between Kara N. Slade and Amy Laura Hall on Domination and Solidarity in Young Adult Dystopias

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Dystopian novels—stories of the future going badly wrong—have apparently now surpassed the vampire and fantasy genres in the young adult fiction market. The books, and the phenomenon of their popularity, have provoked numerous discussions online, in schools, and in the sort of serious, adult magazines that teenagers don’t read. (We know this, of course, only because we read... Read More

Faithful to the Work: An Interview and Two Poems with John Leax, Part II

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Read part one of our interview, plus two more of John Leax’s poems (and audio) here. An elder statesman in art and faith circles, John Leax (Jack to friends) is a poet and essayist of hard-earned, humble wisdom, and as such, he avoids the spotlight. The author of books like Country Labors: Poems for All Seasons and Out Walking: Reflections on our Place in the Natural World,... Read More

Faithful to the Work: An Interview and Two Poems with John Leax, Part I

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An elder statesman in art and faith circles, John Leax (Jack to friends) is a poet and essayist of hard-earned, humble wisdom, and as such, he avoids the spotlight. The author of books like Country Labors: Poems for All Seasons and Out Walking: Reflections on our Place in the Natural World, he would rather be working in the garden than at the podium, and since retiring from a long... Read More

Gaga à Gogo

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I remember the first time I saw Lady Gaga perform on TV. She was seated at a very large and very pink piano brimming with plastic bubbles. She had barely tickled the flamingo ivory before strutting center stage to engage in a most bizarre choreography. At the time, Lady Gaga was still becoming the icon she is now, and as I was about to press the worn-out channel button on my remote,... Read More

Anxieties of Influence: Performance Art, Celebrity, and the Self

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I have one goal as an artist: not to sit on my ass. For me, art is action in all of its variety of forms. Performance artists, then, should be pushing the boundaries of action, daring to engage with the environment, culture, and most importantly, other people as intensely as possible. I want to do the most frightening things that I can. I want to move past these things. I want... Read More

Celebrity and Iconicity: Some Preliminary Sketches

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That contemporary America is captivated by the phenomenon of celebrity is hardly a contestable observation. Even those of us who try to limit the impact of celebrity on our life find that its tenacity is hard to overcome. Some try to overcome the impact of celebrity by willing its insignificance. But that some energy is required to will its insignificance should be an indication... Read More

A Sacred Longing: A Review of Simone Weil’s Waiting for God

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“At the center of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world” (132). Simone Weil wrote these words at a time when the world was embroiled in widespread conflict and at a time that her own physical sufferings were growing with each passing year—severe migraines, anemia, a badly burned... Read More

Bell Rings True: A Review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins

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One interpretation has collapsed; but because it was considered the interpretation it now seems as if there were no meaning at all in existence, as if everything were in vain. – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power[i] I grew up in a family obsessed—blessedly so, I believe—with what we might call the “biblical specifics.” Baptized immersion style at the age of fifteen,... Read More

Master Signifiers and the Survival of Evangelicalism: An Interview with David Fitch

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In his latest book, “The End of Evangelicalism?”, pastor and professor David E. Fitch explores the possibility of evangelicalism surviving, in some form, throughout the 21st century.  Fitch utilizes the philosophy of Slavoj Žižek to deconstruct what many evangelicals hold most dear–inerrancy of Scripture, the decision for Christ, and belief that the U.S.... Read More

A Voice in the Oregon Wilderness: Doug Frank’s Revelation of a Gentler God

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Doug Frank. A Gentler God: Breaking Free of the Almighty in the Company of the Human Jesus. Eugene, OR. Wipf & Stock, 2010. $22.40.     I must confess, at the outset, that I know Dr. Doug Frank. I was a student in the Oregon Extension program he cofounded in southern Oregon and I have worked with him in an attempt to naturalize the environment surrounding the campus.... Read More