Tag Archives: religion

Children of the (Christmas) Revolution

A sermon preached at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C., on December 20, 2015. Luke 1:39–55 That’s a heck of a greeting Mary gets from her cousin. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your … Continue reading

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Listening with the ears of God

A sermon preached at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C., on October 5, 2014. Matthew 21:33–46 One afternoon last week I spent a little time at the Durham Arts Council, walking through the galleries, looking at the exhibitions of … Continue reading

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Not nearly frightened enough

The Anunciation by Henry Turner, 1898. The angels in Luke’s gospel spend a lot of time telling people not to be afraid. Fear not, Zechariah! Fear not, Mary! Fear not, shepherds! And over in Matthew, Do not be afraid, Joseph! … Continue reading

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Ouija boards and what we want to believe

It’s too late for Hallowe’en, but Linda Rodriguez McRobbie’s Smithsonian Magazine article on “The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board” is worth a read if you’re at all interested in nineteenth-century history, or in the occult, or if … Continue reading

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Fat(e), free will, and forgiveness

A hundred-odd years ago, gluttony was a sin, but fat men could be seen merely as successful. We seem to have reversed the calculus. Some of the new research on possible causes of obesity is fascinating. New theories emerge continually, … Continue reading

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Ordinary miracles

Saturday afternoon my daughter and I volunteered on a local farm tour, at a farm where the two main attractions are goats and pickles. I’ve got a cabinetful of pickles at home, but no goats, and I figured even if … Continue reading

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Hospitality at a fractured table

I want not to argue that hosts are obligated to accommodate every dietary preference as if it had been handed down by Moses or Krishna but to ask, instead, what are the mutual obligations of a host and guest, even—or especially—when a matter of principle is at stake. Continue reading

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Ten thousand year tomorrow corn chowder

It is summer, and corn is coming into season. I am not ashamed to admit that I have a corn problem: When I see corn, I have to buy it. I buy a dozen ears, even if I have no … Continue reading

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Mindful, but still not gravied with conviviality

An article in today’s New York Times examines yet another case of Americans taking a fundamentally sound idea — mindful eating — and driving it to extremes. Having just concluded a draft of my book with an epilogue in which … Continue reading

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Candlemas

Tomorrow is Candlemas: the midpoint of winter, halfway between the solstice and the equinox, in cultures unspoiled by scientifically rational astronomy the first day of spring, and in much of Western Europe traditionally the day to break ground for the … Continue reading

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