The elements of Austenland are terrific: It has a clever premise, is based on a successful novel, has Jerusha Hess (of Napoleon Dynamite) in the director’s chair, and stars cute, likeable Keri Russell and funny, dependable Jennifer Coolidge. It’s produced by Stephanie Meyer who, whatever you think of the Twilight novels, should at least know something about marketability. But somehow the parts don’t come together.

Fr. Tom Hopko on Philosophy, Reason, and Faith

[These remarks were transcribed from an audio recording of a Q & A period following a talk by Fr. Tom Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in NY, at a conference for Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, at the Sheptytsky Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, July 2008] Moderator of…

Faith, Experience, and Theory

[July 27, 2013] This was an email to my friend Rod Dreher, which he posted on his blog at The American Conservative. It drew many comments, and my response to them is here as well. After further conversation with Rod I understood better what I was trying to say. (In…

Monsters University

Never seen a Pixar movie before? Monsters, Inc. (2001) is a good place to start. It’s a buddy movie, about Sully and his best friend, Mike. Sully, voiced by John Goodman, is a gentle giant, and Mike, voiced by Billy Crystal, is a short, round guy with overflowing self-confidence. It hardly matters that Sully is eight feet tall and has blue and purple fur, and Mike is basically an eyeball on legs.

The Akathist Hymn

This version of the Akathist Hymn is my translation, from my book “Mary as the Eastern Christians Knew Her.”  (Note: this is a paperback version of a book published a few years ago in hardback as “The Lost Gospel of Mary.” We decided to change the title, since the “Lost Gospel” meme has passed.)The main thing I wanted to do was to provide footnotes for all the verses from Scripture and other references St. Romanos makes, since just singing it in church it goes by so quickly. It is a beautiful hymn, very profound, and makes a good text for study and prayer.St. Romanos, author of the Akathist Hymn, was born in Beirut in 475 AD.

The End of the Sexual Revolution

[March 12, 2013] The sexual revolution is going to reverse itself; in fact, the process is about to begin. Sex between women and men is going to move away from the promiscuity of the last several decades, and back to commitment-first in relationships. (I’m talking about heterosexual promiscuity, now, not…

Christmas Cookie Fun

My daughter-in-law Jocelyn got creative with these Christmas cookies. (She’s a great photographer, too.) She also made an astonishing discovery—if you X-ray a snowman cookie, you see…ribs.