Cartas de América #19: we have got to write better hagiographies

It is necessary to tell stories about powerful men getting erotic satisfaction out of domination and violence being on the wrong side of God. It is good to shout that their victims are the holy ones. It is essential for the moral credibility of the Church to grasp these dynamics in the past if weContinue reading “Cartas de América #19: we have got to write better hagiographies”

The Fashion of This World Passeth Away

The marketing for Heavenly Bodies, the blockbuster show now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, would have you believe it centers on a certain male opulence. The aesthetic relationship between Catholic clerics and secular fashion designers certainly dominated the splashy Met Gala that celebrated the exhibition’s opening in May; you may recall various A-list celebritiesContinue reading “The Fashion of This World Passeth Away”

Cartas de América #17: the first indigenous nuns tell their own stories

The first painting I saw when I walked into Painted in Mexico/Pinxit Mexici, currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, belongs to a favorite subgenre of mine: art that depicts art. Specifically, it depicts the altarpiece by Juan Rodríguez Juárez in the chapel at the Convent of Corpus ChristiContinue reading “Cartas de América #17: the first indigenous nuns tell their own stories”

On Eternal Health by Teresa de Cartagena

To what supper does my suffering strive to bring me? I believe without a doubt that it is the one of which it is written: “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” My translation of Teresa de Cartagena, a deaf Cistercian nun of Jewish heritage, writing in Spanish circa 1481. On EternalContinue reading “On Eternal Health by Teresa de Cartagena”

Lessons from Valladolid: On Being Decent in an Indecent Age

When a Christian is caught between a political economy hostile to human flourishing and a Church all too often comfortable with the status quo, it is demoralizing to have recourse to an ugly, embattled public square. Who wants to have life-or-death debates in a cold professional setting? In what universe is pitting hostile voices againstContinue reading “Lessons from Valladolid: On Being Decent in an Indecent Age”

Catholic priests don’t wear suits to Mass. So why so many tuxedos at the Met Gala?

kritischetheologie: glintglimmergleam: @ceeturnalia @ameliasscanwells this gal went OFF and i love it whole thread here @catherineaddington the wires are crossing! Hah, thanks y’all! I wrote up my tweetstorm for America Magazine today: This is a culture that buries bones in its altars, builds chapels out of skulls and carries the broken yet whole body of ChristContinue reading “Catholic priests don’t wear suits to Mass. So why so many tuxedos at the Met Gala?”

Cartas de América #13: A Short History of “Latin America”

I got my undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies, but I always lie about it. I usually call it Latin American history or languages or sociology or religion or any other number of things it wasn’t. I find my discomfort with my career productive. To admit I study a completely made-up thing is to recognizeContinue reading “Cartas de América #13: A Short History of “Latin America””

Writing in Public (on Purpose) at W&L | Scholars— Lab

You know how sometimes a friend will comment on an old profile picture on Facebook so that it’s at the top of everyone’s news feed and suddenly all your college friends know what you looked like when you were 14 and a mess? Well, having had a blog and a public Twitter since I wasContinue reading “Writing in Public (on Purpose) at W&L | Scholars— Lab”

Cartas de América #12: thoughts from the roof of the Trocadero Hotel

On October 19, 1901, Alberto Santos=Dumont (he was fond of using an equals sign, not a hyphen, to honor his Brazilian and French heritage equally) climbed to the roof of the Trocadero Hotel. He’d only been flying for nine minutes when he made it to the Eiffel Tower, suspended in glory by hydrogen gas andContinue reading “Cartas de América #12: thoughts from the roof of the Trocadero Hotel”

Cartas de América #11: ¡viva la religión y muera el mal gobierno!

On December 12, 1794, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Dominican friar named fray Servando Teresa de Mier approached the pulpit to rewrite history. For this he was investigated by the Inquisition, sent to Spain to be put on trial, was sentenced to ten years’ exile, and was banned from preaching and confessingContinue reading “Cartas de América #11: ¡viva la religión y muera el mal gobierno!”