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The Transfigured Earth: Jubilee and the Transformation of Watersheds

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Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you. —Wendell Berry   The World and the Earth On a July evening, I sat in a hotel outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Mahmoud Abu Eid, a Palestinian Muslim and family friend, told his story to a group of American travelers. He talked about checkpoints and home demolitions, about color-coded... Read More

From Commodity to Communitas: Reconciling the Gap between Farmers and Roasters

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Capitalism Capitalism drives our postindustrial world, and the traces of its presence can be found everywhere.1 Although it was initially theorized primarily as an economic system, capitalism’s influence is no longer simply economic; its effects are felt individually, collectively, culturally, socially, politically, theologically, environmentally, and globally. To review, the... Read More

A More Subversive, Sincere Celebrity: A Review of Banksy’s Foray into Film

Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Revolver Entertainment, 2010. Visit here to view a list of screenings in the United States. I was the first person in the history of my high school to fail the AP Art exam. The class, which at the time was somewhat exclusive, consisted of about six students every year. Each student was charged with the task of developing a portfolio that... Read More

Reading Keats in a Japanese Garden

The bamboo plant, an essential element of Japanese painting, has a life span of only a decade, dying  when it flowers. —Little History of Landscape Painting Stand of green bamboo: hollow-jointed flute whose leaves are lances; stems, turtles cowering, shell to shell; blossoming white, world-wide, then gone, in one superlative spring; o mother of paper, o father of pen, o teacher of... Read More

My Body for You: Meditations on Sacrifice as a Theme in Contemporary Art

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Of Icons, the Renaissance, and the Mysterious Disorientation of Disability: An Art Exhibit and Interview with Tim Lowly

Click on the image to the right, “Temma on Earth,” to open Tim Lowly’s exhibit in a resizable browser.   The Other Journal (TOJ): I have noticed that your work has been consistently described as meditative, and over the past few days as I’ve looked through your pieces, I have been wonderfully disturbed by the stillness that is caught there. I’m wondering, are... Read More

The Return of Renard: A Review of The Journal of Jules Renard

Jules Renard, The Journal of Jules Renard, ed. and trans. Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget (Portland, OR: Tin House Books, 2008), 60 pages, $16.95 paper. Click here to buy The Journal of Jules Renard from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. Jean-Paul Sartre once described good literature as “an act of faith” and bad literature as the product of “good sentiments.”1... Read More

Consumption Junction, What’s Your Function? A Review of William Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed

William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 103 pages, $10.11 paper. Click here to buy Being Consumed from Amazon.com and to help support The Other Journal. People everywhere are being forced to pay attention to the transnational economy these days, and they are asking questions about the meaning... Read More

Earth’s Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom

“It is astonishing how few traces of human suffering one notices in the history of philosophy.”1 That was Theodor Adorno’s comment in the mid-1960s, around the time that the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) appointed my predecessor in systematic philosophy, Hendrik Hart, as its first faculty member.2 I should like to reflect on Adorno’s perceptive comment. I want... Read More

Shapelessness of Violence

In darkness creation becomes two-dimensional: Night rain presses monochrome leaves against paved streets, replicating wallpaper of patterned black and charcoal. An oak is but a dark pole distanced by the loss of light. The shades of night dull delicate textures, distinctions, contours and narratives. And so the bombs drop indiscriminately varnishing our humanity with ignorance. React... Read More