Want to write for Sitting in the Stacks?

Have you dragged your friends and family into another bookstore promising them it was the last one? Do you consider your books to be your most prized possession? Are you a fan of book humor that no one else seems to get?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are clearly passionate about all things books and should consider writing for Sitting in the Stacks.

Sitting in the Stacks is now accepting submissions for three categories: Read more

Knowing Religion, Understanding Society

Ever been in an argument that seemed irreconcilable? Did this argument turn out to be an issue of miscommunication and a misunderstanding of where the other person was coming from?

An inability to communicate with someone different from us can often be the result of ignorance. Not knowing anything about your communication partner can lead to some hairy situations. Do you both speak the same language? If not, a lot can be lost in translation. Do you know the customs of their culture? If not, you could unknowingly offend them. It’s important to know something about those with whom we interact and, if we know nothing, to learn. Read more

Love to Brussels

Love to Brussels

At this time of tragedy in Brussels, I want to send all of my thoughts and love to the people of this fantastic city.

During college I was privileged to spend a semester studying and exploring in Brussels, Belgium. I maintained a blog, entitled Apocrypha of Brussels, during those six months. Brussels quickly became like a second home to me and I sincerely believe that part of my heart remained there. As a goodbye, I wrote a love letter to the city.

Below you will find a re-post of that love letter from 2011. Read more

Technology makes foreign literature accessible

Technology makes foreign literature accessible

My interest in foreign language books began when my parents took me, as a young boy, to visit Europe not long after World War II. Witnessing the devastation that still existed in Hamburg, Germany frightened me. Being unable to understand people’s speech or read road signs was equally frightening and isolating. The bombed out buildings and the inability to communicate made me acutely aware that my own culture differed radically from what I was experiencing. Read more

Religion Photography, An invasive practice?

*Originally posted on my portfolio site*

I encountered a dilemma that has perplexed me for years as a religious studies student during the second week of journalism school – religious tourism.

It was obvious that I would cover a Muslim prayer ceremony when we received the assignment to report on a D.C. area event listed in the AP Daybook. After six years of study religion academically, a religious event was exactly the story I wanted.

Read more

A Year In Review

Happy New Year!

Although it is almost a month into 2014, a review of 2013 cannot be overlooked. Last year was a big one for Sitting in the Stacks and for me. Sitting in the Stacks received a make-over, introducing a new blog that reflected all of my interests. Books remained a key focus of Sitting in the Stacks, but religion, current events, creative writing, and personal reflections breathed new life into the all new design. Read more

From the Great Beyond of Graduate School

While it may feel as if I am in the Great Beyond, detached from the rest of the world because of graduate school, I am still alive. In the past four weeks I have read 3 books for two different classes. These books are Symbolism of Evil by Paul Ricoeur, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America by Sarah Barringer Gordon, and Poetics by Aristotle. Read more

“To Be or Not To Be”: My Take On the Choice to Be “Spiritual, but not Religious”

For weeks now, I have been composing a post in response to an article written about the “spiritual, but not religious.” Yet, my multiple starts did not have an ending or it read as a ramble about my beliefs. The article that caused me such writing strife, “My Take: ‘I’m spiritual, but not religious’ is a cop-out,” is by Alan Miller and is posted in the CNN Belief Blog.

Read more

Hump Day Reflection

Every week at my job, we have a staff meeting on Monday mornings. We take turns leading a reflection before we get down to business – one of the perks of working for a people focused organization. This week a co-worker offerred these words from Mother Teresa. I find that they have followed me this week, so I now offer them to you on this hump day.  

 

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

– Mother Teresa