David V. Mason I’d like to write about something else, but it would be irresponsible. More than one hundred and twenty million citizens of the United States of America went to the polls in early November, 2016, to elect a new President. Probably not a single one of these people anticipated the outcome. For many
Ecumenica celebrated a major milestone in our organizational life in 2013: we were officially granted our 501c3 Non-profit Organization designation. This has been the result of countless hours of work by the volunteer staff of the journal, as well as outside friends and supporters, all of whom gave time and attention for a neverending series of meetings, epic paper shuffling, form filling, form filing, and proofreading. Our collective sigh of relief was such that it may have contributed to fall's blustery weather.
Carolyn Roark In recent weeks, I was reading an essay by Larry Alex Taunton—it was on the subject of young atheists and the need for Christian communities to deal more thoughtfully and respectfully with their philosophy of unbelief— and I was struck by an off-hand remark about self-declared “militant” atheists like Richard Dawkins. I suddenly
Carolyn Roark The events of the current US election cycle leave me feeling almost as if it is unnecessary to write an introduction to this volume. The parties and candidates have already done plenty to demonstrate that politics is theatre. There is a true sense of watching a high stakes drama unfold, with high tech
Carolyn Roark In his Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson offers a “Happy Thought”: The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings. One of my happiest thoughts as editor of Ecumenica is the pleasure of seeking everything I can find in the
Carolyn Roark In early November, I visited Trinity University in order to attend their annual DeCourcey lecture, a much- anticipated evening with Salman Rushdie. He was in good form—funny, insightful, mischievous. He alternated his musings on freedom and responsibility in the writing profession with entertaining anecdotes about his own experiences, charting the evolution of his
Carolyn Roark The day after Easter, Stephen Colbert opened his nightly television report with a queasy description of “going on a Catholic bender.” Wincing behind black sunglasses, he describes getting “totally pious-faced” in a holy debauch of novenas and “Our Fathers,” randomly blessing people as he stumbled across Manhattan, and finally waking up next to
Carolyn Roark Recently, I watched my various social networks light up with conversation in the wake of a Pew Forum study on religious knowledge in the United States. The executive summary for the study is available at www.pewforum.org. I recommend it to the readership of this journal, or to anyone with an interest in religion
Carolyn Roark This volume was never slated to be a special issue, and officially it is not. Yet the felicitous commonalities between contributions suggest it might be. Both features address contemporary interventions into ancient performance. Miriam Kammer’s feature titled “Romanization, Rebellion, and the Theatre of Ancient Palestine” uses recent archaeological finds to consider the possible
Carolyn Roark At its earliest inception, this issue was going to be dedicated to examining queer approaches to religion through performance. But then, on Valentine’s Day 2008, NPR aired a piece entitled “The Joy of Christian Sex Toys,” which highlighted the efforts of online retailer Book 22, purveyors of intimacy aids to married Christian couples.