Princeton University Religious Life

Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

            Home for Christmas – that means so many things, doesn’t it.  We’ve just passed the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, which sent a generation off to war, a war in which one of its great holiday ballads proclaimed, “I’ll be home for Christmas, but only in my dreams.”  Home can indeed be a very far-off place of longing. 

Seeing Lazarus

Seeing Lazarus

            I had the indescribable privilege this past week of journeying to Assisi, home of St.

Living Mercifully With One Another

Living Mercifully With One Another

            A few years ago, I heard a story on the radio while driving about differences between classroom pedagogy in Japan versus the United States.  A classroom recording was played of a Japanese group of 12 or 13 year-olds and their teacher in which one boy was the last in the group to understand the concept being discussed.  Over the audio transcript, an American reporter narrated what was going on – the teacher’s clues and encouragement, the classmates’ enthusiastic encouragement, and when the boy finally had his lightbulb moment - the cheers from the room.  The point of the radio ar

The New You

The New You

            Happy New Year!  New academic year, that is.

Shaking the Nation

Shaking the Nation

          One of the things I most loved when I moved to this area nine years ago was discovering how much colonial history fills our campus and towns.  The aesthetic of colonial era architecture is my absolute favorite.  My late father used to enjoy reminding me that my ancestors fought on both sides of the American War of Independence.  I’ve always been glad that my American forebears prevailed.  The American project of democracy, flawed as it has been and is in practice today, really claims my imagination, my loyalty, and my practical support.  But I’m worrie

The Power to Heal

The Power to Heal

            Welcome to leprosy Sunday here at the Princeton University Chapel, the day once every three years in which the appointed biblical texts give us the opportunity to reflect on Hansen’s disease and be grateful that we don’t have it.   Actually, our texts have so much more in common than skin disease—they do prompt us to consider where healing lies, and what true healing is.  They are stories about outsiders who find healing and faith; they show us how simple it really is to be healed if we will only accep