Good fiction can be a form of good works. As a Catholic, I recognize that life is a story of continuous revision, of failure and unexpected grace, and of dogged hope. I am comfortable with the white space of ambiguity and mystery. I have faith, not certainty.
A lot of people have near death experiences and see nothing, so why interpret visits into heaven as proof of an afterlife but not treat visits into nothing as proof of a post-life void?
How to account for any possible perceived dearth of contemporary Catholic literature and art? I have learned the problem is one of definition. In the same way that paradox is endemic to Catholic doctrine, Catholic imaginative literature remains a conundrum to many critics, both Catholic and secular.
Christian self-help is a sub-genre so ubiquitous that when I entered a Christian bookstore and asked for the self-help section, one employee looked at me quizzically and said, ‘Well, that’s pretty much everything in here, unless you’re looking for a Bible.’
Following their prosecution for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” against the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian punk group Pussy Riot has been dispatched to correctional colony IK 14. As it happens, the colony is particularly religious. Coincidence? Judith Pallot is skeptical.
Wherever they burn books, they also burn people in the end.
A rabbi whose name escapes me once said all Western literature was commentary on the Torah. I’ll buy that exaggeration, bearing in mind that exaggeration is both the breath of Jewish prayer and the bone and sinew of the novel when it remembers what it’s for. […] No Torah, no Kafka, no novel.
No matter how much we learn, the vision science offers — of ourselves and of the universe — will always be incomplete and consequently imperfect. Stories of gods, angels and rainbow horses will persist in the gaps.
Source: The New York Times
What makes this volume such a pleasure to read, and what makes it the best book of modern religious thought in recent memory, is its demand that dialogue be a central part of worship.