Tag Archives: Religion

God’s Prayer to Us: Live Kindly, Live

James Richardson’s poem “Evening Prayer” urges us not to narrowly constrain God within rules but to see God as something greater.

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In Support of School Prayer (with a Twist)

A Florida bill allows prayers to be read at assemblies but can’t designate a particular religion, offering openings to various sects. Scott Bates provides the school children with some possibilities.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Posted in Gibran (Kahlil) | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

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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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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