2012 was an exciting year: among other things, it was the year that I headed to Texas, where I’m now Chair of the Department of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, and direct the MA in Apologetics.
Not surprisingly, many of the top posts on Hieropraxis dealt with literature, the arts, and the creative imagination. Here are some of the highlights in case you missed them: (read Part 1 here):
6. “The G.K. Chesterton Library: Tremendous Treasures of the Imagination” was one of my favorite pieces of 2012, as well as being a popular one! While I was in Oxford over the summer, I had the privilege of seeing the GK Chesterton Library’s collection of original Chestertoniana (not yet open to the general public). This post features photographs of some of the treasures, but best of all, I was able to report that soon the treasures will be made available for scholars and the public to see. The collection will be housed in the new Library of the Oxford Oratory. If you want to help that happen faster, you can donate to the Oxford Oratory’s building fund here.
7. Kevin Belmonte is a big fan of musician Phil Keaggy, and in this review of Phil Keaggy’s album Inseparable, he gives us a glimpse of why, noting that “A dozen years have passed since its release. Yet time seems only to confirm the artistry that imbues this cycle of lyric and song.”
8.One of the most popular literary-apologetics pieces in 2012 was this podcast, a lecture that I gave called “Imagination and Doctrine: John Donne’s Holy Sonnets and the Trinity.” In it, I address the use of poetry as a means of apprehending truth on an experiential level, complementary to the comprehension of truth on an intellectual level. I discuss the work of John Donne (and specifically four of his Holy Sonnets) as a particularly good example of the way that poetry can illuminate Christian doctrine so as to help make it a lived reality, not an intellectual puzzle.
9. Gerard Manley Hopkins is my favorite poet. In this piece on his sonnet “No Worst, there is None,” I look at the way that this “Terrible Sonnet” gives readers a voice to be honest before God, and a recognition that the pain of depression is as real and legitimate as other kinds of pain.
10. In the new year there are sure to be many exhortations to “find your passion! follow your passion!” and so on. Frankly, it gets depressing… even when you’re doing what you love (which I am) it is impossible to feel excited about everything all the time. Kelly Belmonte’s excellent piece “Passion is Overrated” is a tonic to the spirit and an encouragement at a much deeper level.