Issue 10: Psychopathology

Mark Vander Vennen

Vibrations between Emotional Health and Global Peace

Tell the universe what you’ve done Out in the desert with your smoking gun Looks like you’ve been having too much fun Tell the universe what you’ve done Chorus You’ve been projecting your shit at the world Self-hatred tarted up as payback time You can self-destruct—that’s your right But keep it to yourself if you […]

Frank C. Richardson

Culture and Psychopathology

Men and women today are haunted by a sense that in the midst of plenty, our lives seem barren. We are hungry for a greater nourishment of the soul. In the England of today, a businessman turned philosopher, Charles Handy, has won a widespread following with his writing. Capitalism, he argues, delivers the means but […]

Jessi Knippel

A Beautiful Messy Journey: Entering Into Reality with Broken English

Review: Broken English, Directed by Zoë Cassavetes, Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2007. 98 minutes. Why is it that as we grow older and stronger The road signs point us adrift and make us afraid Saying, “You never can win,” “Watch your back,” “Where’s your husband?” Oh I don’t like the signs that the sign makers made. […]

Jeff Keuss

Finding A Church That I Can Receive In: Responding to the U2charist Debate

In a recent negative critique (a kind way of saying rant against) of the phenomena of U2charist services being undertaken at a number of churches worldwide,The Other Journal writer John Totten challenges the move as two fold liturgical error. On the one hand, Totten believes Bono has not sufficiently focused on the liturgical challenges of the […]

Janet Sunderland

Standing at the Top of the Lane

In this poem, Janet Sunderland powerfully connects an encounter with the natural world to the everyday darkness of death and war and hopelessness.

A. David Wall, Caleb Mitchell, Travis Stewart

The Body as Battleground: Eating Disorders, Yo-Yo Diets, and the Survival of the Thinnest

After twenty-five years of counseling over 7,000 women with eating disorders, reflecting on what could lead someone to starve herself to death, or to consume 20,000 calories a day punctuated by self-induced vomiting, we ask ourselves: What has gone wrong in our relationship with our bodies? There are three aspects of modern Western culture that […]

Marjorie Maddox

Rough Drafts

In this short story, Marjorie Maddox provides an insightful and poetic look into the lives of people with masochistic pathologies, people who when “eating an apple [bite] right into the bruise” and can’t help but perpetuate relational and psychological self-harm.

Walter Forcatto

A Spirituality of Gladness, Joy, and Celebration

A dear friend, despite her poverty, does all she possibly can to give three children an upbringing full of dignity and hope. A group of friends dances for nearly five hours at an engagement party. Word Made Flesh staff enjoy a fabulous dinner together with great food and wine during the last night of the […]

Ron Carucci

Leading to Green: When Envy and Leadership Join Forces

Fewer measuring devices have more destructive power than those with which we measure ourselves in comparison to others. Those devices are anchored in the power of envy. Envy is the only one of the seven deadly sins that cannot be enjoyed by the sinner. Lust at least leaves its sinner titillated. Pride leaves the sinner […]

Ellen Jantzen

Beneath The Surface

Ellen Jantzen pushes the bounds of conceptual art with her exhibit of elemental and provocative imagery.

Heather Coaster Goertzen

The Brothels Are Burning

This article is a first-hand account of the unrest in Bolivia, with mobs protesting against brothels and women who prostitute.

Matt Jenson

The Shape of Our Sin

Jenson’s article explores the nature of sin in humanity as being curved in on oneself, which has manifestations in men and women as pride and sloth, respectively. Tracing the thought on inward curvature from Augustine to Luther and Barth, and looking at modern feminist critique, Jenson outlines the primary challenges to overcoming a self-focused way of living toward a more outward, Jesus-, and other-focused theological practice.

John Totten

How To Dismantle the Lord’s Supper: The U2charist Phenomena Observed

This article looks at the U2charist phenomenon and the implications of integrating pop music with the Eucharist. The author argues that the conflation of the rock group U2 with the Eucharist is a dilution of the table and suggests that we should approach the Eucharist, and music, with more critical minds.

Monica Klepac

Communion on the Streets

On a cold, cold night in December, just one week before Christmas, a small group stood huddled on a street corner in Galati. Among us were the college-educated and the illiterate; some came from big families; some had no one to call family; some had warm coats to shut out the wind; some had thin […]

Steven Ostrowski

The Birthday Present

A waitress with spiked hair and silver cross earrings showed Tate to a booth near the back. She handed him a plastic menu as he slipped into his seat. His legs ached, and he felt uncomfortably warm. Across the aisle a man wearing a brown vinyl windbreaker sat turning a cup of coffee around in […]

Tina Schermer Sellers

An Erotic God – A Response to All Sexed Up by Dan Rhodes

I want to thank Dan for writing such a well thought out and argued piece. The decentralizing call of sexuality has merit, perhaps most especially as we as a church and culture struggle to find our way to the experience of sexual relating that was intended when God gave us the desire to love and celebrate […]

Stephen Muse

Your Faith is Making You Well: Psychotherapy in an Orthodox Christian Context

In the twenty-first century, as in the first, we do not wage war against flesh and blood, but against “powers and principalities in the heavens” who increasingly would have us believe we are merely flesh and blood and therefore must cling to this life alone as the only one we will ever have, infected by […]

Adam Stewart

A Review of Paul J. Griffiths’ Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity

Lying is something that most people do everyday. From the obvious lies told for the purpose of getting ahead in life, to what we consider the more benign lies told in order to avoid simple confrontation, lying is an almost expected norm of social interaction in Western society. For most of us, lying is not […]

Chuck DeGroat

From Kleenex Theology to Messy Spirituality

I don’t do suffering well. In fact, I despise suffering. My daughter’s tears bring out the worst in me. My first thought is “How do I fix this?” It’s easily translated into pastoral care or clinical counseling. “What should I say?” “How can I help?” I’ve been habituated to respond to suffering with answers. It’s […]

Dan Allender

Moby Dick and the Psychopathology of Transcendent Rage

Call me naïve. I don’t understand how a person, political party, or cultural movement can sustain rage for any length of time, let alone for months and years. But we are living in a day of sustained rage—political animosity, culture wars, national stereotyping, and religious bigotry. One need only flip from one radio talk show […]

Luke Hankins


I’ve drawn blood from others, in my childhood, even friends and kin— slit the heavy garment of skin or split sinus caves with the hard hammer of my fist. Very young, I cried if my sister hurt herself. Later, her hot blood slicked my hammering hand— that hurt was, more than hers, my own. And […]

William Willimon

Sloth as Slow Suicide

Sloth is a special case among the Seven Deadly Sins. Surely Sloth is one sin of which we pragmatic, hard-working, mother-I’d-rather-do-it-myself Americans are not guilty.  We are a purposeful, driven nation that resonates with Ben Franklin and his Poor Richard’s Almanac—”Early to bed, early to rise.” and all of that. (On the other hand, the phenomenal […]

Paul Jaussen

Lighting the Way: A Review of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

The Road1, with its impersonal depictions of cannibalism and murder in the aftermath of an unknown apocalypse, is one of the most spiritual novels written in recent years. The contrast may appear stark: how can the brutally physical reveal that which we tend to conceive of as transcendent? There is a long-standing assumption, at least […]

Roy Barsness

Pride, Ego Injury, and the Gift of Grace

He was a humble man, proud of his craft. A pioneer immigrant, he had very little. But he had a skill. He was a carpenter. He built the pine boxes for the mothers, fathers, and children who didn’t always make it on the new frontier. The most difficult, I am sure, was the box for […]

Marjorie Maddox

Nine Alive!

Newspaper headline Somerset, PA This is the popular miracle to which we bow down, a gasp in our throats, thousands ready to weep, disbelief exhaling relief and not that dark mine of tragedy that keeps collapsing around this tunnel of a country. But there are other wonders too: untelevised, deeper down, the tap-tap-tapping left between […]

Luke Hankins

Hedonist’s Prayer

I was in love with my own ruin, in love with decay. . . . —Augustine, Confessions Our Father in heaven, hallowed be the natural man here below. Lead me in the path of pleasure. May my will be done and make of earth a heaven. Upon my instincts I meditate day and night, I study […]

John Totten

Blitzophrenia: An Interview with Blitzen Trapper

A Google search for Portland’s Blitzen Trapper and the word “schizophrenic” will result in a library of alt-weekly reviews of the new Sub Pop signees’ buzz-worthy, self-released album Wild Mountain Nation. Waiting for their show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle, I discussed with Trapper’s Marty Marquis, Brian Adrian Koch, and Eric Manteer the idea […]

Brian D. McLaren, Jon Stanley

Why Everything Must Change: A Conversation with Brian McLaren

Introduction Brian McLaren’s newest book, Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope1 was released in bookstores on October 2, 2007.  The Other Journal is grateful to have received an advance copy from McLaren and to have had the opportunity for an extended in-person conversation in Toronto about issues related to what he describes […]

Jeffrey Johnson

Time Please

In this poem, Jeffrey Johnson considers the passage of time.