A remarkable book about Russian monks, published last year, reads like something from the middle of the 19th century. You feel transported back in time to the era of Russian faith that gave birth to Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Yet, the non-fiction tales collected in "Everyday Saints" are entirely contemporary.
The Coptic Church is the West's last link to an early form of Christianity, and to a tradition of eremitical life that has all but disappeared from the modern world. Copts remind us of what Egypt means as a repository of all that the West holds dear in terms of thought, culture and civilization.
Not so long ago anything but a peer-reviewed article or book printed by an established academic press was all that found its way onto a curriculum vitae. But times are changing exponentially fast.
It feels to me that we are suffering inter-generational trauma. We are leaving our descendants with such a horrific prospect. We can't claim to be handing on the Earth in a condition that is easy to love, or even endure.
One look at a magazine rack confirms that we live in a dehumanizing, exploitative sexual culture. Unfortunately, fundamentalist sexual teaching suffers under the enormous burden of trying to prove its own superiority.
If you want to learn from the world's great orators and become a more compelling, memorable writer and speaker, Joe Romm's "Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion From Jesus, Shakesphere, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga" is the place to start.
Why is Cannabis smoking identified with the secret number 420? Once, when I was young, I looked answers in the Hebrew Bible and mystical tradition.
His books are selling more than 6 million copies a year, new special editions of "The Screwtape Letters" and "A Grief Observed" are due out this year, and this November, he will join Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot and Chaucer as writers buried or commemorated in Westminster Abbey's Poets Corner. It is, literally, the year of C. S. Lewis.
The crisis of the crash -- six years ago now -- changed me in ways that I'm still coming to grips with. Perhaps most importantly, faith is now something that I don't shy away from, that I don't seek to avoid either as a sensation or a topic of conversation.
People who have had a near-death experience are convinced that they had a glimpse of heaven. Although each near-death experience is unique, we find recurring messages in them. But these messages come right under the domain of religions that say they have the answers.
Historians have long known that early Christians wrote -- and wrote and wrote -- about martyrs, but evidence from outside the movement simply does not confirm this picture.
As we await the messianic Man of Steel in theaters this summer, we might recall the Jewish roots of messiahs, recall again the sacredness of the superhero, and wonder what exactly it is they need to save us from, save ourselves.
I now find myself regularly confronted with that question I so dreaded as a surgeon: Why did my child die? Though it is asked every day, in every part of the world, by people of countless different faiths, it is a question that for Christians comes into especially sharp focus on Easter.
It may just be the hope we need: that the Christ who lives is on the move; that the Christ who lives is alive in the world around us; that while we celebrate the resurrection inside our churches, the Body of Christ is alive and well and walking outside our walls.
If persecution language is not reserved for situations of actual persecution, then unspeakable violence becomes indescribable. Disagreement becomes martyrdom and martyrdom becomes disagreement.
We can find a soupçon of happiness -- even joy -- through sharing food with others, through being mindful of (but not crushed by) issues of sustainability and justice.