Friday, May 14, 2010

In nomine

Let me just say right from the outset that this post started out as another "what have I read lately" review post. And I'll mention those quickly, but in my head the topic rapidly evolved into a "holy crap, how did all this religion stuff appear in my life at once" post.

On the book side of things, after I finished The Wild Things, I moved on to a nonfiction I've had on the shelf for some time, Vows. It's the biography (written by their son) of a priest and ex-nun who marry, and their struggle to reconcile a relationship they see as perfectly holy with a Catholic Church that disagrees.

It was an interesting book, a little slow-moving at first, but a not-insubstantial indictment of the speed with which the Catholic Church allows for change. And the Boston-centrism of the narrative helped keep me involved.

Following that, on the boy's suggestion, I read Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bible!. This one I ran really hot-and-cold on. The opening story, about the Garden of Eden and the expulsion of Adam and Eve, reminded me very, very clearly of The Creation of the World and Other Business, an Arthur Miller play I acted in my senior year of high school. So much so, in fact, that I started to get angry and wonder about plagiarism.

The rest of the book just didn't really thrill me. The boy built it up for me before I picked it up, so I suspect my expectations were too high, but alas. It was the same when I passed along Nameless to him - I had built it up to a point it couldn't achieve.

At any rate, the subject of those two books, combined with a resurgence of interest in Jesus Christ Superstar (centering on the fact that I saw it again last weekend) just startled me with how much religion can appear without even thinking about it.

Does that happen to anybody else? You can go ages without thinking about some big concept like religion and suddenly, bang, there's three instances in short succession and you can't help focusing for a little bit?

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