Category: religion, spirituality

The Man Who Gave Himself Away

When I retired in 2008, I began giving away stuff. It’s 2020 and I’m still giving things away. What seemed like treasure back then is crap now. At first I resented giving things away, because I enjoyed collecting. Hang around me now, and I’ll be loading you with stuff. Check my front yard, more stuff…


Ritualizing in the Time of Coronavirus

by Barry Stephenson Dating from the 4th century, Rome’s San Marcello al Corso houses a crucifix that began its famed career by surviving a devastating fire in May of 1519. Three years later, during the height of a plague, friars of the Servant of Mary, disregarding the prohibitions imposed by the civil authorities, carried the…


Are you watching ____ on Netflix?

Almost every week my two brothers and I exchange the query: Are you watching _______ on Netflix? Are you watching Messiah? Are you watching The First Temptation of Christ? As kids we watched The Ten Commandments, but after Mel Gibson bled on the silver screen, we avoided Jesus movies like the plague. There were a…


Talking with Plants

I’ve just returned from Union Theological Seminary in New York, where I was working with Claudio Carvales, a professor of worship, and his students in a course called Creating Rituals in Community: The Work of Mourning The Earth. Together they design rituals in class, then enact them publicly in James Chapel. Recently, they confessed to…


Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers

Readings at Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto by authors in Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers, edited by Susan Scott.


Reimagining guns

Partnering with Irian Fast-Sittler, a blacksmith, to transform a shotgun into a rosebush, Ron Grimes makes a case for reimagining weapons by using popular images to show that the current wave of gun violence is both a religious and imaginative crisis. For a shorter version, focused on the blacksmithing-artistic process, see “MaidenForge.”


The backsides of white souls

The backsides of white souls Ronald L. Grimes Black History month starts on February 1, so I am re-posting this essay from its original publication in Canadian Notes and Queries (CNQ). A selection of films for Black History Month: National Film Board of Canada. For background on the writing of this essay see “Sleeping with…


Big questions without religion

Teaching Children To Ask The Big Questions Without Religion June 16, 20187:04 AM ET, Heard on NPR, Weekend Edition Saturday, DEENA PRICHEP Emily Freeman, a writer in Montana, grew up unaffiliated to a religion — culturally Jewish on her father’s side, a smattering of churchgoing on her mother’s. She and her husband Nathan Freeman talked about not identifying…


On spiritual yearning in the west

  Vine Deloria Jr. (March 26, 1933 – November 13, 2005) was a Hunkpapa Lakota scholar, author, historian, and activist. For samples of his writings see Spirit and Reason: The Vine Delolria, Jr. Reader. These two interviews are some of his most thoughtful and critical reflections on spirituality and native people. Follow this link for an article I…


Big questions

When the kids were little, we began tossing them big questions. Where are your dead grandparents? Where do babies come from? What is a good person? What’s bad? If the house were on fire and you had to grab one thing, what would it be? These videoed interviews took various forms: storytelling, metaphysical speculation, flights…


What about ritual and religion?

When Cailleah was a kid, she complained, “Creativity, creativity, creativity…that’s all I hear in this family. I’m sick of all that C stuff.” Twenty-five or so year later she’s released her first documentary film, She Got Game, and Bryn, his first music album, Room on Ossington. We must have seduced them into creativity and imagination. We can…


Why build your house on sand?

In the parable of the wise and foolish builders, Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall,…


Living in the world as if it were home

Tim Lilburn teaches at the University of Victoria and has published ten books of poetry. The Names, his most recent poetry collection, was published in 2017. The Larger Conversation: Contemplation and Place, a collection of essays, was published in 2017. This is an interview by Tim Wilson. To read “Listening with Courtesy,” another interview with Tim,…


The trail begins and ends where?

In my imagination here’s where the trail ends (or, maybe, begins).

Don’t click “play” unless you have a full 2 minutes and 40 seconds (which isn’t a lot of time in view of eternity).

A sacred place hallowed by solemn ritual?

A place of doodling?

Artistic practice?

Ancestor veneration?

 

How paltry, our imaginations…


Listening with courtesy

An interview with Tim Lilburn by Darryl Whetter, Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne, [S.l.], Jan. 1997, accessed 02 Oct. 2017. ISSN 1718-7850. DW: You write and speak about poetry as a “courteous” way of seeing. How does this notion of courtesy affect your work technically? TL: First of all, I don’t…