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Publication Day

I collect these comments for my own benefit as much as to persuade anyone else to buy and/or read my book (though you should–it’s good and I’m proud of it). Being a writer without any formal credentials, institutional affiliation, or prominent personal platform is a disorienting vocation. I’ve taken every opportunity that’s been given me by friends and colleagues, worked up a few of my own, and relied a great deal on friends for advice and counsel. But I’ve never been very intentional about any of it. Part of the reason I started this site was to pull together pieces that sprawl across the internet like sheep without a shepherd. For ten years (not counting the years of pointlessly prolific blogging before that) I’ve been sending them out and seeing what happens to them before moving on to the next story, review, exegetical essay, or argument. 

Review: Sacred Signposts

Originally posted on The Anarchy of the Ranters:
Cover of Sacred Signposts by Benjamin J. Dueholm THOMASINA: Oh, Septimus! — can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides — thousands of poems — Aristotle’s own library…. How can we sleep for grief? SEPTIMUS: By…

Sacred Signposts Event in New York City

On June 27 at 7 p.m. I’ll be at Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church (178 Bennett Avenue, a short walk from the 1 and the A) to talk about Sacred Signposts: Words, Water, and Other Acts of Resistance.

A Mediocre Pastor’s Catechism

At the beginning of Lent, I invited the participants in our new member/baptism preparation groups to ask any question they had about church or faith, and I would try to answer them as best I could over the course of our meetings. I didn’t get to all of them in the six weeks we spend together, but a commitment is a commitment and I emailed the answers to everyone. It made for the kind of long, burdensome email I almost never write anymore. But they were big, important questions that, I realized, I often spend very little time answering.

Chicago Diarist: On Burying the Dead

(Note: I wrote this in July 2010) On the first day of my first quarter of Divinity School, I was dispatched to preside at a burial. My pastor couldn’t get down to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery that day, so I made the trip–in a borrowed clergy shirt, borrowed black pants, borrowed car, carrying a borrowed liturgical manual […]

Corinthians

(Note: I preached this sermon on the second Sunday after Epiphany, January 15, 2012) Every week when we gather around the sacrament or when we dedicate our offerings of money and praise to God, we pray the Lord’s Prayer. And here we pray the traditional version, so every week we pray, “Lead us not into […]

Chicago Diarist: Leave the Kierkegaard. Take the Stereo

(Note: I wrote this in March, 2005. I repost it for Kierkegaard’s commemoration tomorrow) Last night a friend I hadn’t seen in some months happened to be in Hyde Park just as I was winding down from a long shift of paper-writing. Figuring that I could spare the time, we resolved to meet up for […]

Contrition

This season of late comeuppances for sexual misconduct has reached Leon Wieseltier, long-time literary editor of The New Republic. He was both loved and hated, exercising for a time a kind of influence in the media world that one could scarcely imagine someone who edits a back-of-the-book exercising today. He was also, by many reports […]

Ordination Anniversary, 2017

Here’s me at my ordination on this day in 2009. Back when I was preparing for ordination, I fancied myself a somewhat unlikely pastor. Then I learned that there really is no such thing as a likely pastor anymore, so I may as well get over that conceit and figure out how to do this job. […]