Last week, the Brazos Fellows read from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, a classic collection of spiritual wisdom, and a perennial favorite in our Course of Study. (Be sure to check out Brazos Fellow alum Jess Schurz’s reflection on the desert fathers, “Learning to Be Lonely.”) We were joined by Fr. Jonathan Kanary, who wrote his masters thesis on the tradition of desert monasticism, and had a great time discussing stories and sayings that are at the same time challenging, inspiring, and often bizarre.
I also had the chance to sit down with Fr. Jonathan for “Five Questions in Ten Minutes.” We talked about two spiritually significant practices, spiritual direction and confession,
Last week, Brittany McComb, this year’s Brazos Fellows Scholar in Residence, led our Course of Study discussion of Cyril of Alexandria. Against the Nestorian heresy, the fifth-century patriarch Cyril defended the unity of Christ as one person in two natures. We had a lively discussion of the Christological controversies and Cyril’s theological account of how, in the Incarnation, Christ joins our nature to the divine.
Brittany holds the MA in Theology from Regent College (Vancouver, BC), and is a PhD candidate studying systematic theology at The Catholic University of America. She and I sat down for “Five Questions in Ten Minutes,” and talked about Augustine, Aquinas, Scotus and Anne Carson, why systematic theology gets a bad rap (and why it actually can open up creativity), the mystic-influenced poet she’s reading, and much more. Listen here:
Today the Brazos Fellows enjoyed class with Fr. Nicholas Norman-Krause, who led our discussion of St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s classic work, Five Theological Orations On God & Christ. Fr. Nicholas is Associate Priest for Campus Ministry at Christ Church, a Ph.D. candidate in Theology and Ethics at Baylor University, and a moral theologian who works on Christian social ethics, political theology, and economics. He serves on the advisory board of Brazos Fellows and is a frequent teacher in our Course of Study.
I sat down with Fr. Nicholas for “Five Questions in Ten Minutes,” and we talked about political theology, what Christians today might need to hear about politics from St. Augustine, the philosopher Stanley Cavell, some new books in theology and ethics that Fr. Nicholas is excited to read, and more. Listen to our conversation here:
Over at the Law & Liberty blog, Dr. Elizabeth Corey writes on the profound value of civility, a traditional practice that is presently much out of fashion. Dr. Corey serves on the advisory board of Brazos Fellows, and is an erstwhile guest instructor in our Course of Study. In this essay, she invites us to reconsider the importance of civility even, and perhaps especially, during such a divided time:
“Civility helps people to weather political differences with grace and it allows us to find common ground with others in realms of life that are not political at all. These other realms are arguably more important than politics. A conservative and progressive, for example, may discover that despite deep ideological disagreements they both love to cook or garden, or that their children have become best friends, or that they love each other’s sense of humor. Civility is essential to such relationships because it intimates where and where-not to go in conversation, where to be silent and where it would be acceptable to disagree. The practice of civility opens us to a host of relationships that would otherwise be impossible.”