Waking Up in Ephesus

The place where John’s body is buried is bathed in light. Literally. His grave is fully exposed to the rays of the sun from dawn to dusk. And when night falls, it basks in the lunar glow. For a couple hundred years John’s grave was sheltered by the dome of a magnificent basilica, but that…

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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.

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Traveling to Cappadocia with the Church Fathers

Reading well makes travel meaningful. On a recent trip to Cappadocia, I traveled with Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus.

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

Mary Magdalene has a reputation for being emotional, if not unstable. Meanwhile Mary the mother of Jesus is usually depicted as supernaturally composed, her emotion perfectly contained beneath a serene expression. She’s not human; she’s all saint. Reflecting on a set of terracotta sculptures in Bologna and a Dorothy Sayer’s play, I consider how we can move from caricature to complexity in our understanding of these two women.

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Gardener or God? An extraordinary case of mistaken identity

Gardening isn’t an activity I typically associate with Jesus. But when Mary first encountered Jesus outside the empty tomb, she supposed he was the gardener. Is this strange case of mistaken identity accidental, or is there symbolic meaning that we shouldn’t miss?

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