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On Penance: a Post-Lenten Confession

Over Great Lent this year, I committed to fasting from engagement with social media, particularly with Facebook. I was not always successful, but my screen time did go down substantially. And over the process of this disengagement, I learned something incredibly important: I don’t know much of anything about at least three-quarters of the things I talk about.

The Medieval Fetish: Online Christians and the European Middle Ages

1 If you spend much time with their communities online, you’ll soon discover that Orthodox and Catholic Christians—particularly the traditionalists and the converts from other traditions—have a set of common obsessions. They love C.S. Lewis, the pan-Christian apologist and scholar of medievalism. They love J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and they really […]

South Dakota and the Movies: Part IV

In this series of posts, I reflect on twenty-five movies that were released between 2012 and 2021, when I lived in Brookings, South Dakota. These movies provided a cinematic backdrop to my years in that cold, sparsely populated place.

South Dakota and the Movies: Part III

In this series of posts, I reflect on twenty-five movies that were released between 2012 and 2021, when I lived in Brookings, South Dakota. These movies provided a cinematic backdrop to my years in that cold, sparsely populated place.

South Dakota and the Movies: Part II

In my next few posts, I’ll reflect on twenty-five movies that were released between 2012 and 2021, when I lived in Brookings, South Dakota. These movies provided a cinematic backdrop to my years in that cold, sparsely populated place. This was a period of my life that wasn’t particularly happy but that ultimately means a […]

South Dakota and the Movies: Part I

When I was young, I was a film buff. It began in my teens, when I saw Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and realized that movies could possess the same powers of expression that I found in literature. Until then, I experienced cinema on a spectrum from awesome Harrison Ford movies (e.g., Raiders of the Lost […]

Andrei Tarkovsky and the Spirit of Orthodoxy

My goal in this post is simply to remind you that Andrei Tarkovsky exists, that he made films, and that he, more than any other filmmaker, embodied the spirit of Orthodox Christianity—not only in Andrei Rublev (1966), his sweeping portrait of the fifteenth-century Russian saint and icon painter, but in all his films. As my priest once told me, Tarkovsky brought an Orthodox monk’s discipline and asceticism to his craft.

Why I’m Not a Republican

An ad recently came across my Twitter feed that was produced by a conservative wine company, We the People. Yes, a conservative wine company. Rod Dreher frequently defends his use of the term “soft totalitarianism” to describe their political opponents by complaining that “the left politicizes everything” or “the left politicizes every aspect of daily […]

First Person: On Mary

As a one-time Evangelical, I struggled more with the veneration of Mary than with nearly any other aspect of Orthodox doctrine. My experience was not unique. Not only did I hesitate to venerate anyone other than Christ, but something about the Orthodox emphasis on Mary’s motherhood, on defining her identity based on her role as the Theotokos, the Mother of God, felt…kind of creepy.

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