Why We Risk Hospitality on Halloween

Debra Dean Murphy

is associate professor of Religious Studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College and serves on the board of The Ekklesia Project. She blogs about books, movies, music, art, politics — and how religion intersects all of these arenas — at Intersections: Thoughts on Religion, Culture, and Politics. She is working on a book tentatively called Beauty, Mystery, Terror, Consolation: Poetry and the Aesthetics of Environmentalism.

 

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October 31st, 2017

“Trunk or treats” are happening in church parking lots across the country in an attempt to make #Halloween rituals safer and less scary. On upholding the macabre lineage of All Hallows’ Eve — and welcoming both the risks and rewards of neighborliness.

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March 19th, 2016

As Christians enter Holy Week, a reflection on the drama of the Easter story through poetry, music, and history. Theatrical, disturbing, cathartic, and deeply necessary, the Christian encounter with the crucifixion is a reckoning with the violence of our era. And yet in resurrection there is hope and embrace.

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November 30th, 2014

With the beginning of Advent, a theologian challenges Christians and the rest of us to wait and watch, and to walk alongside those whose hopes have been crushed — with poesy from Seamus Heaney speaking to that truth.

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December 25th, 2013

How do Christians find their place within the Christmas story? A religious scholar reflects on the necessary, urgent correspondence between two traditional Christmas narratives.

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November 27th, 2012

The film Life of Pi is not just a “parable of the postmodern quest for ‘spiritual fulfillment'” but a meditation on beauty and our own finitude.

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February 21st, 2012

The language of “spiritual journey” is commonplace in describing the season of Lent — the 40-day pilgrimage Christians undertake as they trek with Jesus from the wilderness to the garden to the garbage heap of Golgotha and beyond.

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April 29th, 2011

I didn’t get up at 4 a.m. today, but I do hope to catch a good bit of the wedding…