US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Jason Isbell's brilliant lyrics describe the struggle of blue collar life

A review of Jason Isbell's newest album, Something more than free

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

The release of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free was as much of a mainstream media event as one can expect in this age of audience fragmentation. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts in country, rock, and folk, and it garnered Isbell profiles everywhere from The New Yorker to NPR.  


Isolated brothers rely on movies and each other in ‘The Wolfpack'

By Kathleen Manning | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Wolfpack
Directed by Crystal Moselle (Kotva Films, 2015)
After watching Star Wars as kids, no wrapping paper roll in my house was safe; my brothers and I stole them for light saber battles. The Wolfpack opens with a similar scene of kids recreating movies, but only slowly does this documentary reveal the strange necessity of their movie play. 
 

Our health care system needs a heart transplant

By Thomas G. Pretlow, M.D. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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And our politicians need a brain transplant. Universal health care is the most compassionate option we have, argues a Catholic doctor, and it’s the smartest, most economical solution as well.

The Congo’s killing fields

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Families separated. Millions left for dead. Do we share some of the blame?

Patrick Mwnyamahord knows where his father is buried because a neighbor showed him that small place. What he doesn't know is how his father got there, and there was no one he could safely ask, not then. Twelve years ago he and his family made one of a series of sudden escapes from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into nearby Burundi. On this particular exodus his father was too ill to travel and the family had to leave him.


The literary genius of Bob Dylan

Dylan's Nobel Prize opens up room in the cathedral of literature for every genius who has seen a light and can find a way to make us see it, too.

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Putting aside, for a moment, the election of a reality TV star as president of the United States, history may ultimately judge that the most significant cultural event of 2016 was actually the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. That decision, handed down by those ultimate high-culture deciders in Stockholm, finally ratified the ascension of the American popular arts that began in the music and movies of the 1930s, built to a crescendo in the 1960s, and has been the new normal for most people ever since.


‘The Young Pope’ in the age of Francis and Trump

The show portrays a hotly contested leadership transition and the possibility of an unchecked leader pushing a potentially unpopular set of priorities.

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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For a show about the papacy, it’s hard to pinpoint the most shocking part of the first few minutes of The Young Pope: The fact that the episode came with a nudity warning that is almost immediately realized; the titular pope emerging from a pile of babies, which later turns out to be part of a dream sequence; or hearing an American pope addressing crowds at the Vatican (especially one played by British actor Jude Law).


The faith of an unarmed war hero

“Hacksaw Ridge” chronicles an unwavering faith lived out in midst of war's violence and gore.

By Kathleen Manning | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Hacksaw Ridge
Directed by Mel Gibson (Summit Entertainment, 2016)
 

What is a good death?

The recent loss of so many beloved cultural figures is a reminder to get our spiritual houses in order.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

We lost so many beloved cultural figures in 2016 that the year might go down in history as the Year of Celebrity Death. 

The losses hit my generation hard. The same year I turned 40 I said goodbye to heroes whose immortality I’d taken for granted. People like Prince and David Bowie, in particular, seemed too otherworldly for something as mundane as death. But it turns out no human being is too cool to die.  


A story of northern racism

In “The South Side,” Natalie Moore points out that while cultural diversity is worth celebrating, high-poverty black segregation is not.

By Rosie McCarty | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The South Side
By Natalie Y. Moore (St. Martin’s Press, 2016)

Women and Christian witness

“The Strength of Her Witness,” edited by Elizabeth Johnson, contains articles by women around the world on the importance of Christ’s incarnation.

By Emily Sanna | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women
Edited by Elizabeth Johnson (Orbis Books, 2016)

“What difference do women’s voices make in interpreting the meaning of Jesus Christ?” asks Elizabeth Johnson in her introduction to The Strength of Her Witness. This book, edited by Johnson, attempts to answer that question.


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