Well, hello there ...
I am an author, painter, baker, and scholar particularly interested in the dialogue between Christian theology and the arts, though I tend to focus mostly in this space on how that interaction looks in daily life: in empty coffee cups, late nights, and crowded pubs. I'm originally from Texas, but I make my home now at the end of the world, my affectionate name for St. Andrews, Scotland.
You can expect, usually, a post every Monday and Wednesday on this blog with a week in review on Fridays. The best way to keep up, though, is to subscribe. (And it makes me love you just a little bit, if we're being honest in this second paragraph of introduction.)
I have a few other online projects, such as being a story coach for The Story Unfolding.
I work as the cake baker for Our Story, a café in St. Andrews. My job is to come up with a new recipe each week and just try it out. Everything is 100% made of scratch, organic, and often fair trade. Our latest experiments are trying to make gluten-free not awful. (If you're g-free, you'll understand. Flour blends, y'all. G-free can be grainy business. Puns!)
I divide my time between kitchen, lecture hall, and library. Always with coffee in hand.
I have been offered and have accepted a place in the PhD programme at the University of St. Andrews in Divinity, which I shall complete, God-willing, September 2016.
My thesis is tentatively titled --- "In Him We Live, Move, and Have Our Being: A Consideration of Bodies in Liturgical Practice and Spiritual Formation," a study of how liturgical practice effectively engages all the senses in harmony, thereby modeling holistic worship as a habit of being. It is structured as follows:
I. Introduction: The Church as Body, Our Bodies, and Neo-Gnosticism
II. "Do not cling to me": Liturgical Practice as Now and Not Yet Incarnational Worship (Touching)
III. "Hear, O Israel": Liturgical Repetition, Scripture, and Modern Readers (Hearing)
IV. "And we have seen Him": Visual Literacy and Liturgical Space (Seeing)
V. "Unto God a sweet savour of Christ": Scent and Liturgical Demarcation of the Holy (Smelling)
VI. "This is My Body": Communion, Liturgical Community, and Bodies in Space (Tasting)
VII. Conclusion: The Church at Prayer, Habituated Grace, and Incarnation
I am hoping that this will be a book someday, perhaps re-crafted for a lay audience.
I am currently finishing at the University of St. Andrews a Masters of Letters from the St. Mary's School of Divinity in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts (2013).
I earned my undergraduate degree in Great Texts of the Western Tradition with a focus in medieval monasticism, literature, and theology, as well as a minor in Political Science with a concentration in East Asian regime theory from Baylor University (2012). My thesis, a manuscript-length treatment of the patristic and medieval exegetical styles in conversation with six parables of Christ, was directed by Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey.
Research and scholarship ...
I served formerly as the undergraduate research assistant and now as junior theological consultant under the direction of Dr. K. Sarah-Jane Murray for the National Endowment for the Humanities translation grant for the first English translation and commentary of the Ovide moralisé.
I have previously published and spoken on reinterpreting twelfth century France and its view of religious and noble women through Marie de France's Lais, the politics and religiosity of medieval chaste marriage, distinguishing canon and monastic spirituality in the twelfth century, Madeleine L'Engle's iconography and contemporary children's literature, and even reading the television programme Gossip Girl as medieval allegory. Real talk.
Where else I write ...
Comment policy ...
There are times when I write about sensitive topics such as rape, abuse, assault, and so on. Hence, I take my responsibility to moderate comments seriously and as necessary for creating a space of grace in which to engage well.
This blog must remain a safe space for people to share their stories without judgement. While differing opinions are expected, and even encouraged, it is expected that they will be expressed in a manner that is respectful of others involved in the conversation.
Comments that contain one or more of the following will be deleted without prior warning: victim blaming or shaming, personal attacks, foul language directed at another person or their comments, racism, gender bashing, gay bashing, judgement of another’s spiritual walk, any other form of blatant disrespect. (As in, if you make me feel like you're just in it to win it, I may just stop caring.)
The definition of the above terms is solely up to me as the author and owner of this blog. Comments that don’t fit one of the above categories, but still fail to contribute to a discussion based in mutual respect, will be given a warning, and repeat incidents will be deleted.
Repeat offenders may be banned.