Not Thinking The Unthinkable, But Thinking Hard

Yesterday Graeme pointed meScientific American, to an article entitled, “Never Say Die: Why We Can’t Imagine Death.” The article sticks strictly to scientific explanations, and ignores the possibility that some non-scientific accounts might actually be well-grounded; that’s OK, it’s what we pay scientists to do. If someone asks me about death and existence, I won’t…

Ivory What?

When visiting with the Bishop of Missouri and with Ralph, my current employment situation came up. I acknowledged the far-reaching uncertainty that characterizes Margaret’s and my future, and noted that for career academics, a one year contract is a mixed blessing: all the anxiety of unemployment, with none of the leisure.

Signs O’ The Times

Trevor sent me an email with this photo in it,   to which I add, “Please do not use double primes (inch marks) for quotation marks.”   And Kate sent me a pointer to this receipt:     You may think that Kate is not the first person you’d imagine queueing up to buy a…

Bad, Ignorant Theology

I noticed yesterday that the Rev. Arnold Conrad of Davenport, Iowa, began a rally for McCain with prayer (good so far). Pastor Conrad, however, urged God to bring about a McCain victory — not because he supports all the evangelically correct causes, but because people of other faiths are praying for Obama, and it would…

Don’t Abolish Them Yet!

The House of Lords, God love them, defeated a proposal to extend to six weeks the state’s power arbitrarily to detain suspects: The amendment [to eliminate extended detainment] was put forward by Lord Dear, a former West Midlands chief constable, who told peers: “This attempt to appear tough on terrorism is a shabby charade which…

This Is Where The Party Ends

A few days ago, Doc suggested that John McCain had a variety of winning strategies; all involved putting his own admirable qualities forward. He had devoted his life to national service; he had spent five long years as a prisoner of war, and had been maimed in the process; he had a political born-again experience…

Stock-Taking

The past four weekdays were grueling; I spent more time talking and meeting than I have in ages, and a couple of the conversations hit high intensity levels. On the whole, though, it went very well (so far as I can tell). You would never guess, from my experiences, that the Episcopal Church was experiencing…

Theology In Via

I’m between my two stops on this trip. St Louis went very well — I was touched by the diocesan clergy’s attention and enthusiasm for my reading of Mark. And the highlight was sharing in the Daily Office and closing mass with them.   Next stop, a full day of conversations and presentations, then home…

Mark, My Words

Most of the day here was occupied by my talking. You may well shudder at the thought, but on the whole things have gone pretty well. Most everyone has been encouraging and receptive; if some felt dubious and dissatisfied, they were gentle enough not to give me a hard time.   I’ll be talking again…