I am not sure I have the wherewithal to launch a blog, but I do love to share my passions with anyone who is interested. As I thought about how to organize this section of the website, I realized that there is a single theme that runs throughout my adult life: simply put, I have always been fascinated by the place where the religious sense generates culture—from psalms to novels, roadside art to cathedrals, folk songs to cantatas. I’m also fascinated by the way that culture—high, low, and in between—helps to shape our experience of faith.
And so the following three sections touch on the intersection—Annie Dillard calls it the “pile-up”—where faith and culture meet.
My primary work for the last 30 years has been in the realm of art and literature. In this section I provide links to the projects that I have had a hand in founding, including Image journal, Slant Books, and the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Here I share my passion for the international Catholic lay movement, Communion and Liberation, to which I belong. One of the things that most attracted me to CL was that its founder, Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) felt that the making and appreciation of culture was central to a balanced spiritual life.
While my vocation has been largely devoted to contemporary art and literature, I am deeply interested in history. In this section I provide a short introduction to the strand of thought known as “Christian Humanism,” which has run throughout Western history, but which saw one of its shining moments in the Renaissance. My current research focuses on this period; I hope to write a book about the Renaissance Christian Humanist Erasmus and his circle of friends, including Thomas More and Hans Holbein the Younger.
Photo credit: Bob Denst.