Confession and Moral Reasoning

Ilya Repin
Refusal of the Confession, 1885
Oil on canvas

There is a dearth of moral reasoning in the present-day American culture, not to mention in the Church. It would seem to be the logical consequence of a libertarian ideal of freedom, despite all criticisms to the contrary. Under the hegemonic ideology of our day and age, the notion of asserting some claim or access to moral authority is offensive (at least), outmoded (certainly!), and tyrannical (at worst!). It is from this standpoint, for instance, that Michel Foucault calls the Augustinian practice of confession the modern’s source of self and, thus, their prison under the regime of biopower (since biopower undergirds and advances an ideological value of subjectification, etc.). This thesis, one of the central pieces of his The History of Sexuality, is questionable to me. Continue reading “Confession and Moral Reasoning”

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The History of a Small Church

John Constable
The Church Porch, 1810
Oil on canvas

By the side of the door to our small church here in Hillsboro, IL is a little walking path. On the sides of that path are engraved names of members of the congregation, leading to a list of past preachers and a poem written by one of our congregants. And I feel in awe of these bricks and this path. Continue reading “The History of a Small Church”