Reviews & Culture

Books, comics, poetry, arts.

“Translating” the Faith: The Lindisfarne Gospels

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has not stood still across the centuries, and neither have the Lindisfarne Gospels. When the monk penned Old English words on this gorgeous manuscript, his community was in exile, chased from their ancient home by Danish invaders. After the Norman invasion in 1066, monastic life in England grew quickly. A new priory was established on the tiny island, and the monks of Lindisfarne came home, bringing their Gospels with them. The English church would revolve around the life of monasteries like Lindisfarne for the next half millennium, counting on them to spread the good news to the English people.

Mercy Triumphs Over Grace

Mercy provides catholic Anglicans a way to challenge our Protestant brethren with a hermeneutic that is grounded throughout the witness of Scripture (including St. Paul, especially if one reads “grace” as an aspect God’s merciful response to the human condition), is firmly rooted in theological reflections on the Trinity (Kasper especially leans on St. Augustine), and dynamically connects the relationship of the believer to God in Christ with the relationship that disciples are called to share with their neighbors and the political arrangements that are most conducive to human flourishing.

Springsteen, Belonging, and Religion in Blinded by the Light

To be sure, Springsteenism is an ambiguous religiosity. Springsteen, as Roops pronounces, “knows everything you’ve ever felt … and he can describe it better for you.” His music allows one to see the depth and profundity in ordinary life — to see even father-son conflict as “something as old as time,” as Manzoor says, and to respond with empathy. Springsteen himself is a role model of uncommon decency.

Jim Thompson and the Killer Inside Us All

We prefer to think that evil is something “bad people” do, and that these bad people are easily recognizable. We see a mug shot on the news and say “Oh, he looks like a child molester, like a mass shooter, like a serial killer, like a bad person. Or as often as not today we think of evil as that perpetrated only by our political opposites. We describe such people as “inhuman” or “deplorable”, descriptors that gives us the relief of distance. The guise evil wears is, of course, always that of someone else.