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The Canon That Crushed Richard Meier

The Canon That Crushed Richard Meier

Architect Richard Meier recently resigned as the leader of the business he created 50 years ago. He created stark white and glass High Modernist Masterpieces for all those years. He was the very model of a Modernist “Starchitect.” He was compelled to leave because he had been accused of disgusting...
The Déjà Vu Issue is Here!

The Déjà Vu Issue is Here!

Dear readers, Issue 12 is officially out to print and will be in your hands in a matter of days! Maybe you’ve wondered to yourself, “What is Mockingbird all about? And what should I read to get some insight?” If you have, or know your nosy roommate has, this is the...
Preoccupations: Painting Ponds or Hiding Sea Monsters?

Preoccupations: Painting Ponds or Hiding Sea Monsters?

In The Crown’s retelling of British history, we find Winston Churchill having his portrait painted by the royal family’s artist Graham Sutherland. Though the show’s writers have surely taken liberties to imagine how these more intimate moments would have gone, they present a scene that is a poignant depiction of...
My Dad, His Dad, Jesus, and His Bride

My Dad, His Dad, Jesus, and His Bride

Last month, my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary…and the occasion caused me to realize that although my dad has never been a religious man in the traditional sense of the word, he was a picture of Jesus and the church, for me. The most succinct way I can say...
The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

Regular readers know the high esteem in which we hold Orthodox priest Fr. Stephen Freeman, and how much inspiration we’ve drawn from his writing, especially over the past couple of years. If it’s true that God often speaks to us through unexpected vessels and out of our blindspots, then he...
What Punk Rock Taught Me About Public Prayer

What Punk Rock Taught Me About Public Prayer

In 1972, the old-school rock critic Lester Bangs said Black Sabbath was the world’s first Catholic rock band. So much for Christian rock. Sorry, Larry Norman. Apparently Sabbath had you beat by a decade. Joking aside, Bangs claimed in the same essay (terrifically titled “Bring Your Mother to the Gas...
The Worry of Being Killed in Church and the Safety We Are Promised

The Worry of Being Killed in Church and the Safety We Are Promised

The first time I remember thinking about what it would mean to die with my church, I was in a cabin in the piney woods of Texas. Our family was attending the annual retreat, and the weather was horrible. My husband and I both got texts sent to our phones...
Now Available! <i>Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle</i>, by Robert Farrar Capon

Now Available! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon

A priest’s suicide. A lover’s confession. A web of mysteries. The latest installment in Mockingbird’s Robert Farrar Capon series is available today! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle explores the secret life of a clergyman and the ultimate mystery of redemption. In our discussions about Exit 36, Valerie Capon used one word...
Don't Look Now But Your Concept Is Creeping

Don’t Look Now But Your Concept Is Creeping

It’s a pretty common conversation among parents of young children. Clichéd even. Usually starts with a reminiscence about what things were like when we were kids: “Can’t believe I was allowed to ride my bike to the library by myself when I was 7.” “In summer I’d leave the house after breakfast...
On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

When Jason and I dated, we bonded over a variety of shared interests, but our favorites were the holy trinity of tapas, Jesus, and camp horror. The two of us were among the dozen viewers who kept Harper’s Island on the air for an entire season. (He figured out who...
Latest entries

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Grateful to share this reflection by Wenatchee the Hatchet: Just as the world (in Marvel comics) may know Spider-man yet not know Peter Parker, the world may likewise know that Stanley Lieber was Stan Lee, whether or not the world ever knew who Stanley Lieber was. The man Stan Lee, who died this week, became world-famous […]

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” ​(Neuromancer, pg. 3) If I self-reflect on how geeky my hobbies are, I’m nothing if not consistent. For the past year or so, some friends and I have been meeting in a basement after work and playing a fantastic Dungeons […]

Pre-Order Seculosity Today!

Couldn’t be more excited to announce that my forthcoming book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion And What To Do About It is now available for pre-order! Won’t be out til April 2, 2019, but the more advance orders the better. Here’s the promotional copy and cover:

At the heart of our current moment lies a universal yearning, writes David Zahl, not to be happy or respected so much as enough–what religions call “righteous.” To fill the void left by religion, we look to all sorts of everyday activities–from eating and parenting to dating and voting–for the identity, purpose, and meaning once provided on Sunday morning.

In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out. Seculosity takes a thoughtful yet entertaining tour of American “performancism” and its cousins, highlighting both their ingenuity and mercilessness, all while challenging the conventional narrative of religious decline. Zahl unmasks the competing pieties around which so much of our lives revolve, and he does so in a way that’s at points playful, personal, and incisive. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.

Promotion will amp up as we get closer to April, and we need your help spreading the word. Best thing you can do right now (other than pre-order) is to tell your friends, neighbors, colleagues, pastors, etc and start using the hashtag #seculosity on social media. This is going to be fun…

Pre-Order Today!

Grace in an Age of Distraction 1 – Steven Paulson

Voila: the first video from our recent conference in Oklahoma City! Here, keynote speaker Steven Paulson — author of Luther’s Outlaw God — introduces the conference theme: distraction… Trust us, you’ll want to give your attention to this one. 😉

Grace in the Age of Distraction 1 ~ Steven Paulson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Stopping

Stopping

This poem was written by John Nolan: Stopping I cannot stop stopping I simply cannot My brain will keep talking Unless I can slot Away impulse and image and instant and id And if they persist a visit begins From the wilderness washing Like particle mist Mutated mangled from sixty minutes All bundled in twelves […]

Mother of All Mothers

Mother of All Mothers

This post comes to us from Stacie Tchividjian. I was recently reflecting on my deepest regrets as a mom. My mind started stumbling down a path it doesn’t like to go. I sobbed from a deeply painful place as I agonized over the choices I’ve made that have affected my two sons. When I see them hurting […]

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Last Saturday, my son accompanied me on my typical weekend errands, and after he patiently endured the tedium of Costco’s packed aisles and long lines, we were finally en route in the Dodge Millennium Falcon to an impromptu father-son lunch date. As we approached our destination, he randomly blurted out, “Dad, remember that time last […]

Culture and the Countercultural Cross – David Zahl

The talk given at the Here We Still Stand conference in San Diego last month, in which I offered up the first full-length taste of my forthcoming book #Seculosity (and had a lot of fun in the process). Many thanks to everyone at 1517 for putting it on:

Another Week Ends: Purr-fectionism, Soulmates, Ambrose & Augustine, National Jealousy Day, Nick Cave and Patriot

Another Week Ends: Purr-fectionism, Soulmates, Ambrose & Augustine, National Jealousy Day, Nick Cave and Patriot

1. First up, some low-hanging fruit from The Atlantic, Olga Khazan’s “The Problem with Being Perfect,” an expert deconstruction of America’s favorite #humblebrag. Khazan fills in the shading a bit more than journalists usually do when tackling this subject, especially toward the end, where she catalogs not just the appeasement response to the law perfectionism, […]

John Stuart Mill's Crisis of Faith

John Stuart Mill’s Crisis of Faith

This excerpt comes from John Gray’s latest book Seven Types of Atheism; the chapter is “Secular Humanism, a Sacred Relic,” where Gray deliberates over ‘the religion of humanity.’ In this passage, he tells of nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill’s faith in personal satisfaction and human progress — and the voice of doubt that arose amidst it: …John […]

The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

The Difference Between Despair and Dependence

Regular readers know the high esteem in which we hold Orthodox priest Fr. Stephen Freeman, and how much inspiration we’ve drawn from his writing, especially over the past couple of years. If it’s true that God often speaks to us through unexpected vessels and out of our blindspots, then he represents something of that for […]

Preface by Chad Bird to <i>Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle</i>

Preface by Chad Bird to Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle

A huge thank you to Chad Bird for this eloquent preface to our recent republication of Robert Farrar Capon’s Exit 36. Order your copy today! In the early days of December, I crawl up into my attic, step over a couple of rafters, and take a deep breath to blow a year’s worth of dust off a […]