Cross Currents

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 4, Winter

Confessions of a Believer in Exile
by Peter A. Young For most of my adult life, I have lived at the edges of traditional Christianity, seeking a spiritual home in one protestant church or another, yet never fully comfortable with theological language. Early on, it became clear that...
Green Lap, Brown Embrace, Blue Body: The Ecospirituality of Alice Walker
Alice Walker's Earth is a womanist goddess of many colors. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the blues singer Shug is the sassy, sensual, bounteous woman who awakens the brutalized and silenced Celie to her own strength...
Love Songs to the Dead: The Liturgical Voice as Mentor and Reminder
Liturgy should be as destabilizing as art and just as difficult to make. There is something in religion that may not be true, but has not yet been sung. - E. M. Forster, A Passage to India The Jewish ritual of Tahara, the preparation of the...
Murder Most Promising
by Robert Wexelblatt Beverly Coyle and Nadine Gordimer have written superb new novels about murder, but neither is a murder mystery. Set in North Florida and South Africa respectively, each tells with intelligent, irresistible sympathy how self-consciously...
On Inspiration
It is one of the most mysterious moments in any one's life, the instant when things "click" and fall neatly in place, or a new idea flashes in the dark. It happened to Nietzsche on the shores of Lake Silvaplana, when he felt, "6000 feet beyond man...
Peace Culture: The Problem of Managing Human Difference
Peace culture, neither a fantasy nor accident, is as central to human nature as war culture. The creative management of differences is at the core of peace culture; in other words, it is not a culture without conflict. Since every human individual...
Reflections on the Vatican's 'Reflection on the Shoah.'
The summer of 1987 was a particularly difficult moment in Roman Catholic-Jewish relations throughout the world. In June of that year Pope John Paul II had a widely publicized and highly controversial meeting at the Vatican with Austrian President Kurt...
The Meaning of Zionism for the Diaspora
Jews in the multi-ethnic future will need to redefine themselves in the larger society, as Theodor Herzl did for political Zionism. The modern Zionist movement has never been at peace with the Diaspora. In all of its versions, it has taken its measure...
Troubling Presences and Misrecognitions
by Alfred E. Prettyman It was Lincoln who, prior to emancipation, referred to both freedmen and slaves as a "troubling presence" in the nation. It is a thought that persists in the minds of many in our society who are not black. For blacks, such...
Womanist Theology, Epistemology, and a New Anthropological Paradigm
Womanist theologians can bring the experience and knowledge of the marginalized to the center by standing aside to let the community speak for itself. Womanist theology is an emergent voice of African American Christian women in the United States....