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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
I had a lot of fun driving Greg up to ASU and back for his talk yesterday. The talk itself -- "What Would Jesus Do?": Pragmatism, Practical Christianity, and the Homiletic Novel was superb, as accessible as it was smart and astonishingly relevant to the present conjuncture. It was great to see Joe. And the fine middle eastern cuisine we dined on was enhanced by its setting in a two-block "Arab Quarter" right next to campus, complete with a lovely mosque and minaret. As for the conversation in the car, let's just say that it's a delight to have reached the point with a friend where there's no longer any need to posture. We kept it real.

Unfortunately, I have to do that tedious drive again today, only this time in a claustrophobia-inducing van after teaching. I'm not looking forward to it. Nor do I have high hopes for my trip, since it will be so compressed. I want to see my sister and her husband-to-be in their happy moment. I want to see my relatives. I want to have quality time with my parents. I just don't fee like traveling right now. And, as I've already noted here -- and thereby inadvertently upset my sister -- I really don't want to see NYC for the first time post-9/11. Now that I'm reading Haruki Murakami's Underground -- thanks for the provocation, Gideon! -- which focuses on the Aum cult's terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system from back in 1995, I feel especially edgy. There's nothing like reading about people's struggle to breathe to make me antsy. Time for a few hours of sleep. . .

Mode: ughh
Muse: a cat crunching "bricks"

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From: (Anonymous) Date: November 19th, 2004 10:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It was great to see you & Greg, Charlie. Greg Jackson is exceedingly good at analysing the intersection of nineteenth-century American religion and literature. But what is especially interesting is the ease with which he can integrate this into a discussion of twenty-first century religious phenomena such as hell houses (never knew these existed) or WWJD (thought it meant 'who would Jesus do?'). My deep-rooted rejection of all religious expression ironically gives me an appreciation of folks like Greg who handle the topic with such ease. A couple of my students turned out to have weird X-tian grooves.

We missed only Joel, who would have complained about the kefta.

Joe, listening to the North Mississippi Allstars
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 20th, 2004 12:57 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Same on this end. I was delighted with the way things turned out. Driving up the next day in a packed shuttle was hard, but it would have been anyway.
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