Secularization: Religious Decline or Family Deterioration? - Pt 2 of 3

Feast of St Philip the Apostle

Eberstadt_How_West_Lost_God_Square.jpegMarriage and Fertility: Engines for Faith
Following a survey of the secularization thesis, Eberstadt offers three chapters in defense of her “family factor” theory. She begins by arguing for empirical links among marriage, childbearing, and religiosity. Her argument begins with an article by W. Bradford Wilcox (“As the Family Goes,” First Things 173) in which he offers three reasons why church attendance is connected to... Continue Reading

Secularization: Religious Decline or Family Deterioration? - Pt 1 of 3

Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel & Barachiel

Eberstadt_How_West_Lost_God_Square.jpegSecularization Theory: Dead or Alive?
If the sociologist Jan Swyngedouw could look back from 1979 at the sheer volume of what had been written on secularization in the 1960s and 1970s and “find it difficult to suppress a certain feeling of ‘indigestion,’” what are we to conclude over five decades into the debate? Swyngedouw... Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Justified by Her Deeds: Was the Reformation Wise?

Feast of St Epimachus of Alexandria

Luther_Thesis_Square.pngAFTER 500 years, it’s worth reflecting on whether it was such a good idea, or not—this whole Reformation, that is. Or, to use the language of today’s Gospel reading: was the Reformation “wise—will Wisdom be justified by her deeds?” (Mt. 11.12-19).

To some extent, you could say it was necessary—the abuses were simply out of control. It was bound to happen one way, or another, whether... Continue Reading

Death Despoiled: A Poem for All Hallow's Eve

Feast of Sts Cleopas and Artemas of the 70

Pumpkin_with_Cross_Square.jpegFRIGID, fallow, the fainting, frosted earth
in silence sullen, souls of sylvan shorn;
wraiths and whispers upon now welter wastes
creep carefully out from crags and caverns.
Ancient arbors, by alien asters
luminous, by lore lyric leering lure,
issue imps in ire instructed idly.
Ghouls from gaps in Gaia’s greenish garment
emerge, ennobled evening ended,
vandals vicious, violence varied.
Beasts beguild,... Continue Reading

All Hallow's Eve: A Concise History of Halloween & Its Cosmic Significance

Feast of the Martyrs Zenobius & Zenobia

Pumpkin_Pantokrator_Square.jpegIN THE MIDDLE Ages, Halloween was known as All Hallow’s Eve. Though today a festival to celebrate the creepy, carnal, and calamitous, historically it was the vigil for All Saints Day (also called All Hallows). On All Hallow’s Eve, the local parish church would hold a vigil and then process to the local cemetery to offer prayers on behalf of the departed. On... Continue Reading

World War I in British Popular Song & Classical Music

Feast of Carpus, Papylus, Agathodorus, & Agathonica, the Martyrs of Pergamus

Royal_Irish_Rifles_ration_party_Somme_July_1916_Square.jpgPOPULAR music during World War I served to rouse the troops, comfort the grieving, and encourage patriotic spirit. Several classical composers served in the British armed forces during the war and their works reflected their experience, as did the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, subjects of this... Continue Reading

World on Fire: How the Inklings Responded with Hope and Creativity

Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas 

Mordor_Square_1.jpegTHE TWENTIETH century was the bloodiest century in human history. It was characterized by two world wars, which killed collectively between 70-100 million people, and a cold war which potentially could have killed many more people than the two world wars combined. The members of the Inklings, including J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, lived through all three of these... Continue Reading

Washing at Dark

Feast of St Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury

Rich_with_Flowers_Square_3.jpgSOMEDAY I shall be a great saint—like those you see in the windows of magnificent cathedrals. I will have a soul made of sunlight and skin as clear as the stained glass panels that make their skin, and I will shine like they do now—I will shine with the glory that comes over those who rise up early and seek the... Continue Reading

Telling the Joke

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

Rich_in_Church_Square.jpegTHE ONLY thing worse than a joke you don’t get is the explanation that is bound to follow: an explanation that, while it may help you see why you should have seen the humor that you so lamely missed, is little likely to make you laugh. It may provoke you to muster a sympathy snicker so as to avoid more of an already... Continue Reading

Anarchists, Biblical Kings, Clerical Clothing & the Color Black

Feast of St Sozon the Martyr

priest-wearing-tab-collar-clergy-shirt_SQUARE.pngOUR LATEST Presidential election cycle, and the subsequent media coverage of President Donald Trump, led me to think more deeply about my political beliefs and principles. I have discussed politics with trusted friends and reflected on my own thoughts more than ever. I want to offer you a powerful quote shared with me by one of my closest friends, Deacon Rico Paul Monge. Deacon... Continue Reading