“Happy the Eye That Saw Our Temple”: Liturgy in Daniel Deronda

One of the most beautiful descriptions of a liturgy I’ve ever read comes from George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. In this moment, the titular character has his first experience of Jewish worship, having opted for the Spanish-Hebrew liturgy rather than the vernacular. The liturgical moment that Deronda experiences is actually Yom Kippur, but I think the … More “Happy the Eye That Saw Our Temple”: Liturgy in Daniel Deronda

A Literary Kalendar

There is so much overlap between literature and liturgy. Sometimes a liturgy will take central place in a novel, such as the baptism in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles or the wedding at the end of any marriage plot. Many liturgies themselves are a collection of literary genres, ranging from myth to poetry to exhortation, blended with … More A Literary Kalendar

Beginning Lent with Father Gerard’s “Nondum”

Throughout his short life, Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote occasional poems. Some were late apologies for missing a sister’s birthday. Others were designed to be presented to his Jesuit community, such as a playful description of a superior. And many were written to commemorate the liturgical season. During the Lent of 1866, he wrote the poem, … More Beginning Lent with Father Gerard’s “Nondum”

Year in Review

We’ve have quite a busy year! Our daughter, Eleanor, was born in March. I taught a class on fairy tales, and came away from it thinking Where the Wild Things Are is more genius than I ever realized (more on that in a later post). And I finished my comprehensive exams, preparing to teach in classes on … More Year in Review

Hail Last of Romans and First of Scholastics

Today, in the tradition of Pavia, is the feast day of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius. That’s the Boethius.  Living from around 480 to his execution in 524, he was a statesman during the rule of Theodoric and a contemporary with Benedict of Nursia (480-547). He is a liminal figure like these others described by Lorenzo Valla, … More Hail Last of Romans and First of Scholastics

How My Blog Readers Helped Me Write an Article

I think we tend to have a one-sided view of academic blogging. We tend to call it an “outreach” project, envisioning the process as research leading to communication with a broader audience. In many ways, this is great. And as someone who took time in between college and graduate studies, I feel a deep solidarity … More How My Blog Readers Helped Me Write an Article