How the Meaning of the Hagia Sophia Made Me Rethink My New Year’s Resolution

What relevance could a 6th-century cathedral possibly have for the life of a 21st-century girl? That's a fair question. But a visit to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey taught me that Christians from the past can speak into our present.

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When Weaving Becomes a Lens for Seeing Life

We cannot escape the reality that our identity—the fabric of our being—is very much made up by those who are woven into our lives. And many of the threads knit into us are not those we choose, but those that are given.

Interior Space and Exterior Surface: Anish Kapoor at Sakip Sabanci

Sculpture, I thought, is the opposite of void. Sculpture, I thought, projects itself into space. Sculpture, I thought, is presence. That’s what I thought, at least, until I met Anish Kapoor's voids. I expected to see sculpture at the Kapoor show at Sakip Sabanci Muzesi in Istanbul, and I wasn’t disappointed. Kapoor has garnered international …

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Emotional Women: Grief Contained and Grief Exposed at Santa Maria della Vita

When I walked through the doors of Santa Maria della Vita, a baroque church on a side street in Bologna, Italy, it took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the dim interior. A friend had told me there was something in this church that I needed to see. I made my way to a …

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Victim or Survivor?—Giacometti, Ovarian Cancer and a Glimpse of Glory

Victims of a shipwreck—that phrase stuck with me. It’s a description I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks as a friend’s long struggle with ovarian cancer nears its end. I read the words last spring on the wall of the Pera Museum in Istanbul one morning when my husband and I …

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Surviving the visual tsunami: A response to Mark Galli

Yesterday the arresting question, “Can we survive the visual tsunami?” showed up in my Twitter feed. The tinge of apocalyptic concern in the title of Mark Galli’s meditation for Christianity Today got my attention. Tsunami sounds bad. But for me, a designer who loves the arts, visual sounds good. I respect Mark Galli tremendously and …

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For the Time Being: Thoughts on Auden’s Christmas Oratorio

Five years ago I read W.H. Auden’s Christmas oratorio, For the Time Being, for the first time. I’ve found myself drawn to it during Advent every year since. His psychological insights into the players that populate the narrative breathe life into a story that often feels too familiar to fully appreciate. But it's his meditation …

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Veneration is not Humiliation: A Theological Interpretation of the Mosaic over the Imperial Door of the Hagia Sophia

“If one called this day the beginning and day of Orthodoxy (lest I say something excessive), one would not be far wrong. For though the time is short since the pride of the iconoclastic heresy has been reduced to ashes, and true religion has spread its light to the ends of the world, fired like …

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Damien Hirst: Facing Death, Searching for Life

When I saw the Damien Hirst retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London, I had only known Hirst's work from headlines. My impression from a few poor reproductions was that he was all about death. The retrospective told me that I had been, well, dead wrong. He has a lot to say about life and …

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