Monthly Archives: November 2015

So that philosophy is not a massage to a wooden leg

While teaching philosophy as a course in general education (so not to students who are majoring or minoring in philosophy), I have often experienced a situation in which the responsibility for the students who were in front of me conflicted … Continue reading

Posted in Education/Pedagogy, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Does the Liturgy make me holy?

  Photo Alin Mesaros: Whenever we meet after I return from Liturgy, a good friend of mine asks me, “So, did it make you holy?” Regardless of how many times I heard this question, I never had a good … Continue reading

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Teachers, students, and their interdependence

Let me tell you a true story. A long time ago, when I was in high school, I really loved French. For some reason that I do not fully understand today, one of my favorite authors was HonorĂ© de Balzac. … Continue reading

Posted in Education/Pedagogy | 1 Comment

Fasting and a story from communist prisons

A few days ago, the Eastern Orthodox Christians began the Nativity fast, the 40 day-period of renewal prior to the Nativity of Christ (or Christmas). I often have friends who asked me what fasting means. Before I can even attempt … Continue reading

Posted in Communist Persecution, Orthodoxy | 1 Comment

Identity stories

  Story number 1: a few years ago, in an American town in Indiana, I used to play soccer in a semi-competitive adult league. One of my teammates was Mexican, and we got along quite well. One day, he told … Continue reading

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Fixing other people’s problems

I think I have had my share of trying to fix others and also to avoid the fixing of others. It’s very easy to see why the latter kind of fixing is bad: I hate it. I don’t know about … Continue reading

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A story about soccer, forgiveness, and responsibility

Some years ago, I coached a varsity soccer team. We actually got to the final, and on that last day everyone showed up to the field. All of the guys were quite pumped up and ready to play. I was … Continue reading

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Do we deserve love? Some thoughts from Dostoevsky’s The Karamazov Brothers

Photo by Alin Mesaros Photography At the beginning of Book 6 of Dostoevsky’s The Karamazov Brothers, where Father Zosima’s younger brother is on the verge of dying, he all of a sudden has a change of heart and begins … Continue reading

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The Church and the "Problem of the Third"

A friend of mine told me once that “the Orthodox Church does not have an answer to the problem of the third.” I think he was coming from a Levinasian perspective: how we can pass from the relationship with the … Continue reading

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