Category Literature

Auerbach: Against Nationalism

This week in my graduate seminar (for new MA students), as an introduction to literary criticism and theory, we’re reading Erich Auerbach‘s “Odysseus’ Scar,” the first chapter of his book Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946; translated into English in 1953). At the same time, I’ve been working recently on an article engaging […]

All Scholarship Is Autobiographical

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about the intertwining of literature and culture. I started composing this post at the same time, but I never published it. I’ve gone back to it over the past few years, revising and reconsidering it. Finally, it’s time for me to publish this. I want to explore an assumption that […]

Bede, Star Wars, and Ascension Day

This morning I was pleasantly elated to discover a fact of the calendar and a trio of celebrations coming together. Today, on May 25, 2017 we get to commemorate three major events simultaneously: Bede’s Day, the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, and Ascension Day! This is just a happy coincidence in the way that these celebrations fall in the calendar. […]

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 3: Monasticism

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For previous posts, see Part 1 and Part 2.] When we think of the medieval period and religion, one of the […]

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 2: Biblical Precedents

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For an introduction to the series, and some general examples, see Part 1; for the next post in the series, […]

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 1

I recently had a conversation with two of my pastor friends, Andrew and Rick, about the tensions between religion and politics, both in America and across history. A large part of this conversation revolved around the upcoming presidential election in the United States. At one point in the conversation, Andrew posed a question to me about […]

Viking Ships & Piracy

Scrolling through my social media feeds this morning, I was reminded that today is #InternationalTalkLikeAPirateDay; and, serendipitously, I’m reading various accounts of Viking ships and sea-battles as I prep for my class on Vikings. When I made the schedule, I didn’t realize this happy coincidence, but I am glad for it. This is one of our […]