Month: March 2021

I Am a Unit of One

After Jiang Qing married Mao Zedong in 1938, Communist leadership informed her that to join the Communist movement, she would need to submit her will to a work unit. Qing, who before her marriage to Mao was an aspiring actress,...

/ March 31, 2021

A Shot Off the Mark: Reviewing Christakis’s “Apollo’s Arrow”

The most interesting part of Nicholas Christakis’ new book Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live is, unfortunately, its title. The book was mostly written in August 2020, published in October 2020, and...

/ March 30, 2021
Mere Fidelity

Beatitudes: “Those Who Mourn”

Continuing their series of discussions of the Beatitudes, Alastair, Derek, and Matt ask about mourning. What is the role of mourning in the Old Testament? Does our culture allow us to mourn properly? Is there joy to be found in...

/ March 30, 2021

Sin for Its Own Sake? The Theft of the Pears and the Divine Image in Augustine’s Confessions

The complex recounting of the “theft of the pears” in Book 2 of his Confessions is often distilled into Augustine’s famous evaluation of the act: “I simply wanted to enjoy the theft for its own sake, and the sin” (nec...

/ March 29, 2021

Covid-19, One Year On, Pt II: The Limits of Politics

One year ago today, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US passed 85,000, surpassing China where the virus had begun, and giving us the unenviable distinction of being #1 in the world. Today, America still holds that...

/ March 26, 2021

The Promise and the Failure of WandaVision

This article references plot points from the full run of Wandavision. Superhero films are mass-casualty events. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown, it’s success has won it a little more space to consider the griefs and resentments of the...

/ March 25, 2021

To See God in the Darkness: On Tish Harrison Warren’s “Prayer in the Night”

I praise you because you are artist and scientist in one. When I am somewhat fearful of your power, your ability to work miracles with a set-square, I hear you murmuring to yourself in a notation Beethoven dreamed of but...

/ March 24, 2021

Christianity and Culture in an Age of Crisis

Christian concerns with the culture go all the way back, dating beyond the legacies of Justin Martyr and Augustine to the earliest generations of Christians. But even here, in the first centuries, negotiations with culture were not straightforward: for every...

/ March 23, 2021

Becoming a Perennial: A Conversation with Grace Olmstead

In Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left Behind (March 2021) Grace tells the story of her hometown of Emmett, Idaho, where her great-grandfather and great-grandmother lived and farmed, and where her grandparents and parents still live. Through...

/ March 22, 2021

Marcion’s “Gift”

The church’s participation in various historical injustices is a familiar theme, one rehearsed in some instances to discredit her, but in others to prompt her to needful repentance. But the primordial sin of the church which makes other, more tangible...

/ March 19, 2021