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Radical Grace

An Interview With Will D. Campbell

 When we said, “Be a Christian,” who we really got that from was Thomas Merton: Be what you are. You are already katallagete ; you are already reconciled. So behave as if that’s true. It’s a fine point to make, but it’s a very important and, I think, radical poin…


I had always thought of us as a model family. My mother taught nursery school. My father was the high-school principal. I was a twirler, which meant that on game days or national holidays — and especially Founder’s Day, the Founder being our direct dead relative — I’d put on…

Blind Angels

Pittsburgh, at the end of another terribly hot day in an unending string of terribly hot days, is a forge, the air like damp, tepid gauze. The people on the streets look stretched, desperate, short-tempered. My poetry reading, part of the eighteen-day Bloomfield Sacred Arts Festival, is being held …

The Russian Children Are Not Happy

Now she’s rocking back and forth, back and forth in her padded rocker, holding a pillow to her stomach with one hand, bringing her drink to her mouth with the other, and moaning every now and then, “How did this happen? How did this happen?” And I don’t know if she means Boo…

Lamb Of God

It’s AIDS Remembrance Day at the Episcopal Church. The poor, old Episcopal Church creaks on, trying to be relevant. I go to the service, take out the old blue hymnal, and stand up to sing some plodding hymn written a hundred years ago, or maybe two hundred. The church is fairly empty, althoug…

July 2002

Three thousand people were killed when the World Trade Center was attacked; to read aloud a list of their names would take two hours. Six million people were killed when the Nazis attacked European Jewry, reducing it, too, to rubble; to read aloud a list of those names would take six months.

The Empty Sky

Reflections On 09.11.01

The Sun doesn’t usually report on current events, but September’s terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. marked a turning point for all of us. We put out a call to our writers, inviting them to reflect on the tragedy and its aftermath. The response was overwhelming. As…