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The Modern Novel: Why bother?

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I spend a good amount of my free time reading novels. It's a past time that is more like a personal compulsion; this form of storytelling has grabbed me 'round my neck since I started devouring The Bobbsey Twins. This need to read turned me into a collector of books, a lover of dictionaries, an English major in college. I care about this art form. A lot.

So if you are a reader, too, you may share my enduring heartbreak over what happened to the long form of storytelling that is the novel in the 20th century. Certain writers broke form, and turned the sweeping, luxurious narrative into a broken, piecemeal, fragment of story; a weakened stream of image, word and punctuation. What could have been beautiful became a stumble through words until you want to die from boredom.  (For me, the names of such writers as James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and David Foster Wallace send me running for the door. ) The intelligentsia - the critics and editors and publishers - all …

Faith and the Brain

How does our brain look when we engage in prayer and meditation? This weekend's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly program on PBS explores this fascinating topic.

July 30, 2010 ~ Faith and the Brain | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

Taking Charge of our own Health

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As a nation, we spend a LOT of money on health care. It's expensive for a couple of reasons: the amazing discoveries, technologies and research which allow for astonishing cures and healing of human suffering is expensive to create. And secondly, because we Americans have treated health care not as a right, like public education, but as a service that we purchase, like energy or food.

Because of the early national decision to treat health care as a service, the pace and cost of advances in medicine has out-stripped most Americans' ability to pay for it themselves. Hence, the explosion in the last century of our dependence on health insurance. We have become so dependent upon it as an addition to our pay, most of us have come to think of health care as something that our insurance pays for, as if it were an additional source of revenue to our family instead of a support to the health care we purchase.

This model leaves the poor, homeless and unemployed dependent upon our hospit…

Parenting is Still an Artform

As the summer ticks away, I am spending a lot of time with and for my teenagers. It has me thinking about this generation of youth, how they have been parented, and how many have bemoaned their development. I've written about it in my latest GoodTherapy.org blog posting. I hope you'll visit it there, comment, and let me know how you feel about the children of the Baby Boomers.

Parenting is Still an Artform

Are You Kidding?

The Vatican has just issued a new ruling that equates ordaining women to the sin of pedophilia.

How any person of Christian faith and vision can think and write this theological argument takes my breath away. While the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is blindly adhering to their reactionary 17th Century theology and practice, the people of the contemporary American Roman Catholic community reel from the growing child abuse scandal that threatens to bankrupt every diocese and struggle with a severe and unending shortage of parish priests. Their leaders are making decisions and issuing decisions that should anger every believing Catholic. But where is the local protest?

Unlike a generation or two ago, the protest is out the door, beyond the parking lot and in the hearts and minds of the disaffected Catholic community. While many believing Catholics are struggling to do ministry, love God and neighbor, worship and educate their children in the faith, others have left the communit…