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About David Zahl

David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries and editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird blog. He and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, VA, with their three sons, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church (christchurchcville.org).

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Author Archive
    
    A Mockingbird Gift Guide: 2018 Edition

    A Mockingbird Gift Guide: 2018 Edition

    That time again! Click here to check out last year’s guide. And to make sure all the gifts below look their best, we recommend (w)rapping them in deliciousness or genius. For Your Small Group Leader Who Keeps Hinting That You Take Your Law/Grace Paradigm More Seriously Than Scripture Itself: An Easy Stroll Through a Short […]

    Another Week Ends: Gene Editing, Political Cults, Ultrarich Scorekeeping, Medical Forgiveness, Depressed Scientists, $25 Naps, and John the Baptist

    Another Week Ends: Gene Editing, Political Cults, Ultrarich Scorekeeping, Medical Forgiveness, Depressed Scientists, $25 Naps, and John the Baptist

    Before we jump in, our year-end update/appeal letters are out! On snazzy new letterhead, to boot. To be sure you get one, just sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got a ton of exciting things happening, and really need your help. Take it away, Kermit: 1. First up, last week’s Cambridge Literary Festival featured […]

    The De-Sexing of the American Teenager

    The De-Sexing of the American Teenager

    It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose, marking an episode of The Mockingcast “E” for “Explicit.” I just figured that when it happened, it’d be because of language (*ahem, Rev Jackwagon*) rather than content. But iTunes is notoriously touchy about these things and the “sex recession” is just too relevant of a subject not […]

    Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

    Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

    I really wish she hadn’t written this one. It would’ve stung no matter when it came out, but right now just seems cruel. Maybe you saw it and feel similarly exposed. Hopefully not. I’m talking about Ruth Whippman’s searing editorial in The NY Times “Everything Is For Sale Now, Even Us.” Believe me when I […]

    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!

    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, […]

    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 […]

    November Playlist

    Once again with no small thanks to The Well of Sound, the seventh and most ridiculous episode of which dropped this week. You can listen to (most of) the playlist below on Spotify, too.

    P.S. New Liturgical Folk record out this week, Crumbs, and it’s fantastic. A must for anyone interested in BCP-derived indie gorgeousness. Tracks coming soon.

    P.P.S. Counting the days til the release of the new Beware the Images EP, Burst Transmission, one track of which we have the privilege of previewing above.

    Another Week Ends: Consumer Churches, 30 Year Takeaways, the Other Side, Bull Head Coaches, iPad Tipping and Japanese KitKats

    Another Week Ends: Consumer Churches, 30 Year Takeaways, the Other Side, Bull Head Coaches, iPad Tipping and Japanese KitKats

    1. Fresh on the heels of hosting a truly, er, glorious theology-of-the-cross-themed conference last weekend in San Diego, our friends at 1517 Legacy posted a brilliantly contrarian reflection from Joel Hess, responding to a critique that’s fairly common among confessional Christians in this country. I’m referring to the criticism that the church, especially in its […]

    What If Millennials Were Enough?

    What If Millennials Were Enough?

    The list of safe topics to bring up at a dinner party is, as we all know, shrinking. It used to be just politics and religion that were outlawed from “polite society.” But then everything became political — and politics itself became an object of widespread religious faith (#seculosity) — and to get along, you […]

    New Religions, Fresh Heretics, and the Beyoncé-KISS Continuum

    New Religions, Fresh Heretics, and the Beyoncé-KISS Continuum

    The big 4-0 passed us by with hardly a whimper. It was just a couple weeks ago, but no one made a fuss, not even the band, who seldom pass up a chance at a cash grab. Perhaps it’s not all that surprising; on the list of Pop Culture Disasters, this one ranks pretty low–somewhere […]