Tag Archives: Religion

A Hermit of the Rocks, Wind & Mist

R. S. Thomas’s powerful poem “Sea-Watching” compares waiting for the Holy Spirit with bird watching.

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In the Beginning Was the Word

The opening of the Book of John is poetry of the first order.

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Mary Is Called, the Parting Hour Is Come

Richard Crashaw celebrates the Feast of the Assumption with a feminized Christianity.

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The Transcendental Meaning of Pizza

Scott Bates describes the sacramental dimensions of devouring pizza.

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i put him all into my arms

e. e. cummings’ “man who had fallen among thieves” brings the Good Samaritan parable uncomfortably close to home.

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Nature Red in Tooth & Claw? Maybe Not

Carleton’s Ian Barbour turned to Tennyson in seeking to find connections between science and religion.

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The Deep (Not Scientific) Truth of Genesis

The Book of Genesis, like poetry, captures truths inaccessible to science.

Posted in Bible, Robinson (Marilynne) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Poetry Needed to Understand Trinity

John Kennedy advocated poetry to avoid arrogance, which is good advice when it comes to understanding the Trinity.

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Finding Peace along with a Lost Goat

Poet Yehudi Amichai gives us a powerful poem about losing our way and being found.

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Pope Retires but Keeps Perks? Hmm

Some of Pope Benedict’s retirement demands sound like King Lear’s.

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Half in Love with Easeful Death

In his haunting “Ode to a Nightingale,” Keats imagines himself as a homesick Ruth standing “amid the alien corn.”

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Becoming Intimate with God

As George Herbert and Fiona Sampson make clear, partaking in the eucharist feat is our way of becoming intimate with God.

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Things Fall Apart in Bishops vs. Nuns

Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” contrasts rigid and tolerant Christianity in ways that will benefit our own society.

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How Rosh Hashanah Is Like Swimming

Poet Enid Shomer describes Rosh Hashanah as a swimmer beginning on the surface but eventually sinking deep within the water/rituals.

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More Frightening than Arrest, Freedom

Levertov’s poem about Peter escaping prison confronts existential issues of freedom

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Ryan, Abortion, and Hardy’s Angel Clare

Paul Ryan may resemble Angel Claire in Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” but there’s a vicar who shows us a better way of dealing with a “fallen” woman.

Posted in Hardy (Thomas) | Also tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Christ’s Love for Hot Barley Bread

Chaucer’s Wife of Bath may not be pure, but Jesus would appreciate her great heart.

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The Spirit’s Table Has Arrived from Heaven

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, fasting is seen as a way of escaping the body.

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A Snake That Refused to Be Used

This Scott Bates looks at Pentecostal snake handlers from the snake’s point of view.

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Theological Clerihews – Heaven & Mirth

The clerihew form can wittily articulate major theological questions.

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Sin = Separation from Creation

Seeing sin more as human separateness from creation than as disobeying God may be a more powerful way to teach the concept to today’s students.

Posted in Marlowe (Christopher), Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anchorless and Yet Anchored

St. John of the Cross finds that love shows itself the strongest when we live in “darkness without light.”

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Like a Cat Asleep on a Chair, O Lord

In “Pax,” D. H. Lawrence echoes the 23rd Psalm only substitutes a cat for a sheep.

Posted in Bible, Lawrence (D. H.) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Reach Out, Like Thomas, into the Darkness

R. S. Thomas’s poem about religious doubt calls for a leap of faith in the midst of darkness.

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Keeping Christ’s Message New and Real

The 1989 film “Jesus of Montreal” shows the establishment church standing in the way of Jesus’s message.

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Depth of Sea, Firmness of Rock, God

The magnificent poet attributed to St. Patrick looks to nature to provide images for God’s strength and support.

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Plucking Out the Fangs of Hate

Gibran’s version of Jesus driving the moneychangers from the temple wonders how he pulled it off.

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Queen Esther: Just an Ordinary Woman

Rachel Barenblat’s poem about Queen Esther brings her down to earth and in the process makes her far more interesting.

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The Cleanness of Sweet Abstinence

Herbert paradoxically describes Lent as a “dear Feast” in which we can revel.

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A Knowledge Born of Suffering

Rumi’s poem “The Lame Goat” has offered solace to those suffering from physical and emotional setbacks.

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Epiphany Sunday and the Arabian Nights

The Christian Feast of the Epiphany and the Arabian Nights come together in a fanciful Scott Bates poem about the three wise men passing through Baghdad on their way to see Jesus.

Posted in Bates (Scott) | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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