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On Secularism and the Hagia Sophia

Throughout the West today, statues are falling (as they are prone to do) and people are debating the best way to memorialize—or critique—the past, specifically as it concerns men and women whose legacies are bound up with the devastating histories of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and white supremacy. These histories extend over the past […]

On Identity Politics, Black Lives Matter, and What Lies Beyond Liberalism

I’ve been reading Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, a foundational text of the rightward turn (which I’ve described before on this blog) that we’ve witnessed among many conservative intellectuals—particularly among Catholic intellectuals, but perhaps best exemplified by the Orthodox writer Rod Dreher. Dreher took the title of his influential treatise, The Benedict Option, from the last […]

The Zeal of the Convert

I’ve found myself reflecting lately on T.S. Eliot’s spiritual and religious development after migrating to England. In 1927, he converted to British citizenship and to a Romanized brand of Anglicanism with a zeal that alarmed even the most thoroughbred of English Catholic conservatives. “I am,” he is reported to have declared, “Anglo-Catholic in religion, classicist […]

George Floyd, Social Justice, and States of Refuge

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued a statement today condemning the recent killing by police of George Floyd and the racism that underlies the frequently brutal treatment of African Americans by law enforcement in the United States. I discovered the OCA’s statement on a conservative Orthodox Facebook group that […]

Letter to a Pre-Christian Nation

Part One: Narrow is the gate… In my last post, I reflected on the wondrous breadth of Christianity and its stupefying diversity across the globe and throughout history. But if I am to be an Orthodox Christian, I should also pause to reflect on the Church’s narrowness. I confess my belief in one, holy, catholic, […]

Kissing Goodbye to All That: On Joshua Harris’s Apostasy

A major step in my journey toward Orthodoxy occurred last summer when news broke that the young megachurch pastor and one-time Evangelical wunderkind Joshua Harris was splitting up with his wife. Divorce and other such clerical scandals are pretty common in the Evangelical world, but this one struck a unique chord, particularly with so-called Exvangelicals […]

The Right’s Rightward Turn

A decade has passed since the Tea Party reinvigorated the American Right, leading to an historic Republican victory by giving the GOP its widest margin of seats in the House of Representatives in over sixty years. That summer was marked by anti-government protests across the nation, largely a backlash against Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act: […]

Of Soccer and Schism

I recently discovered David Bentley Hart’s 2014 review of Ecumenism Today: The Universal Church in the 21st Century, a 2008 volume edited by Francesca Aran Murphy and Christopher Asprey. The review is really an essay and represents a remarkable work of Christian historiography. I recommend it to anyone interested in questions of ecumenism and the […]

On Corporate and National Sin

Back when I attended Quaker Meeting, I frequently worshipped with a professor of social work. He was a former Mennonite with a strong background in consensus work. One day, when discussing with him the then newly circulating term “white privilege,” he commented on a concept that was largely unfamiliar to me: corporate sin. “I think […]

Father Seraphim on Patience during the Pandemic

We are all impatient for this period of suffering and isolation to end. We all desire a return to normalcy. This impatience and desire can lead to frustration, anxiety, and eventually rage, which can poison our spiritual development. As I suffer through this pandemic, I find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the pain that […]

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