Heaven Favors the Crown: An Apology for Monarchy

Feast of St Agathus, Pope of Rome

King_David_Square_2.jpegALTHOUGH I am unable to attend the Great Conversation on "Who is currently the best candidate for the President of the U.S.A.?", I would like to respond to the question about whether or not the movements behind Trump and Sanders constitute a desire to return to monarchy, as well as the question of whether or not the right leader can provide a moral... Continue Reading

The Mercies of Sister Age

Feast of Leo the Great, Pope of Rome

M.K.F._Fisher_Square_2.jpegONE OF THE chief joys of the Eighth Day Institute and its associated bookstore is being one with a community of readers. An early book that put a name to this community was John Ruskin's Sesame Seeds and Lilies. One can find in this work an outline of the secular communion of saints that saved me in my early years. To say... Continue Reading

Liturgical Hermeneutics, Part 2: From Baptismal Experience to a Theology of Trinitarian Deification

Feast of St Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch


PATRISTICS PROFESSOR Basil Studer notes that in both of Irenaeus’ extant works—Against Heresies and On the Apostolic Preaching—salvation is a work “accomplished by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.” The attentive reader of both works, Studer continues, “will not fail to notice how consistently [Irenaeus] refers to the action of Father, Son and Spirit in the history of salvation.”... Continue Reading

Liturgical Hermeneutics, Part 1: Liturgy as Object, Source & Canon for Theology

Feast of St Agatha the Martyr

Liturgy_Square_2.jpegTHE RUSSIAN Orthodox theologian Fr. Alexander Schmemann is probably most known for his work in liturgical theology. His passion for this subject was driven by his perception of a divorce between liturgy and theology. In fact, he argued that this split is the only reason liturgical theology ought to exist. In his words, liturgical theology developed solely “because theology ceased to seek in the... Continue Reading

An Old Letter from Wendell Berry

Feast of St Xenophon and His Companions

Doom_with_Berry_Square_rev.jpgWHILE FILING Wendell Berry's letter from the symposium, I leafed through older letters and rediscovered another one I'd like to share.

In January of 2008, while teaching at Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, I initiated a tradition that continues to this day at Northfield: January School. These days, students attend January School at Northfield. But when I organized it in 2008, we... Continue Reading

A Letter from Wendell Berry

Feast of St Agathangelus the Martyr

Berry_Square_3.jpegI'VE WRITTEN Wendell Berry on a number of occasions. He has always responded. He has even graciously conveyed kind words about our publications: "I've been reading in the publications you sent me and improving my mind. Thank you."

The last time I wrote him, I invited him to speak at our sixth annual symposium. Here's an insightful snapshot of the explanation he gave for... Continue Reading

Material Religion: Christianity & the Veneration of Matter

Twelfth Day of Christmas and the Eve of the Theophany of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ

Sophronius_Square.jpgCHRISTIANITY s a material religion. Everywhere you turn in the Christian tradition, the material world is adamantly affirmed. And every part of it plays a part in the cosmic worship of our Creator.

We see this throughout scripture. From the very beginning, in the creation account, God says His creation is “very good.”... Continue Reading

Toward a Christian Geo-Centrism

Eleventh Day of Christmas and Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

PtolemySystem_Square.jpegTHE "OBJECTIVE VIEW” which we attempt to find through science and philosophy is not possible; consequently it falsifies whatever conclusions we derive from it. This is especially true in the contemplation of our own planet. If we seek a detached and objective vista from which to solve the ecological crisis, we have already failed. Detachment is death. Gathering data,... Continue Reading

Of Gardening, Wendell Berry, the Church & Sacraments

Tenth Day of Christmas and Feast of St Malachai the Prophet

Berry_Square_2.jpegAROUND SEVEN years ago, living in an apartment in Chicagoland, I read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Two weeks later it occurred to me to start a garden. Then it occurred to me that I might move home to Kansas.

My apartment-balcony garden failed. But the idea for the move home took root and flourished. Fewer than six months... Continue Reading

The Sacramentality of Scripture in St Cyril of Alexandria

Ninth Day of Christmas and Feast of St Sylvester, Pope of Rome and St Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov

Cyril_Alexandria_Square_2.jpgREJOICE exceedingly, daughter Zion, proclaim, daughter Jerusalem: lo, your king comes to you righteous and saving; he is gentle, riding on a beast of burden and young foal. ~Zechariah 9.9

“Obviously,” St. Cyril says, “in this he now proclaims the revelation of our Savior.” Is that so? Is it... Continue Reading