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Fall 2010 Vol.46, No.3 Please  as appropriate: I/We would like to subscribe CRUX: Subscription Period Canadian Rates* U.S. / International Rates A Quarterly Journal of Christian Thought and Opinion published by Regent College  $26.00 1 Year  $26.00 + GST / HST  $49.00 2 Years  $49.00 + GST / HST  $72.00 3 Years  $72.00 + GST / HST  $7.00 Single Copy  $7.00 + GST / HST *

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A Quarterly Journal of Christian Thought and Opinion published by Regent College

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CRUX, a journal of Christian thought and opinion, seeks to expound the basic tenets of the Christian faith and to demonstrate that Christian truth is relevant to the whole of life. Its particular concern is to relate the teachings of Scripture to a broad spectrum of academic, social and professional areas of interest, to integrate them and to apply the insights gained to corporate and personal Christian life and witness. Founded in 1962 by the Toronto Graduate Christian Fellowship and subsequently published by a group of Christian faculty members associated with Scarborough College in the University of Toronto, CRUX has been published by Faculty and Alumni of Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada since 1979. Views expressed in CRUX should be regarded as the personal opinions of the individual authors rather than as reflecting the official opinions or policies of Regent College.

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Contents

CRUX: Fall 2010, Vol.46, No.3

A Quarterly Journal of Christian Thought and Opinion published by Regent College

Articles Toward a Moral Theology of Genetic Screening Michael Buttrey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Good Life: Living In Urban Space Craig Handy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Juxtaposed Journeys: The Pilgrim’s Regress and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Robert Jones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Poetry Better than Seven Sons Bethany Hindmarsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Homeless Bethany Hindmarsh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Book Reviews Saving the Holy Sepulchre: How Rival Christians Came Together to Save Their Holiest Shrine by Raymond Cohen, reviewed by John Conway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ by Eugene Peterson, reviewed by Julie Lane-Gay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Advertise in CRUX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Cover: “245 terrace jacques leonard” by Anne-Laure Djaballah (MCS, 2003). About it, she writes: “I recently heard an author describe the house his mother had lived in as ‘ her novel, the concrete story she told about herself.’ I am interested in the significance of the spaces we create for ourselves— what they say about who we are and also how they can influence us. We build shelters that contain and protect, but can be means to isolate and keep hidden. There are also the issues of public/private—what we choose to display and what is kept hidden— and then what happens when those separations are removed, and how that opens up a new set of possibilities, ways of connecting, a means of creating something new.” See Craig Handy’s article, “The Good Life: Living In Urban Space” in this issue for other thoughts on the urban scene. anne-lauredjaballah. blogspot.com

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Toward a Moral Theology of Genetic Screening Michael Buttrey

Michael Buttrey is currently completing his Master’s thesis at Regent College, on the topic of how the practice of infant baptism questions the paradigm of genetic screening. Before coming to Regent, Michael took a BSc in Molecular Genetics and worked in a genetics laboratory as a research technician.

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hristian communities regularly c e lebr ate ne w pre g n a nc ie s , births, baptisms, and dedications together. But when prospective parents enter the obstetrician’s off ice, the ultrasound room, the genetic counselling clinic, or even the abortion facility, they do so alone. In these environments, their church community and tradition is present to them only through the prayers of friends and family and through whatever good habits of memory, thought, imagination, and action they can recall under stress. For those who desire to worship God faithfully in the strange land of modern medicine, it is crucial that their communities help them inculcate the practices they need to be followers of Christ, even at times of crisis. One such crisis is when doctors recommend a genetic test or reveal there has been an “unexpected” result, and couples face decisions about prenatal screening, preimplantation screening, and genetic selection. In this paper, I propose six elements for a moral theology of reproductive genetic screening. A comprehensive moral theology is necessary, I argue, because mainstream Christian ethics too often considers screening only in terms of abortion and personhood. These discussions are worthwhile, but they typically do not expose how demand for genetic screening is produced by our description of the world, by our understanding of the purpose of children and the scope of suffering, and by our fundamental vision of who we are and what we desire. My thesis is that these

questions are best considered through the traditions of Christian theology and worship. To defend my claim, I will define genetic screening and why it is a concern, I will summarize a representative mainstream Christian bioethical analysis of screening in James C. Peterson’s Genetic Turning Points, and I will outline a more theological approach to genetic screening—one rooted in the shared practices of the church. What Is Genetic Screening? The Encyclopedia of Bioethics def ines reproductive genetic screening a s “techniques … the aims of which are to detect fetal anomaly.”1 For this article, I use genetic screening, genetic testing, and genetic diagnosis as rough synonyms. Genetic selection, however, is the selection of human embryos and fetuses according to genetic criteria. So, then, genetic selection depends on genetic screening, but genetic testing without selection is possible. Therefore, as I will not consider non-reproductive uses of genetic testing, my precise topic is the ethics of genetic testing, diagnosis, and selection at the prenatal and preimplantation stages. Prenatal refers to procedures during pregnancy, such as a pregnant mother confirming a diagnosis of Down Syndrome and choosing to have a selective abortion, while preimplantation refers to procedures before an embryo is implanted in the host mother, such as an infertile couple selecting the “best” embryos to implant during in vitro fertilization. Finally, I primarily address genetic testing, not non-genetic prenatal tests such as 2


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ultrasounds, although similar issues are involved. All forms of genetic screening involve tests to confirm the presence or absence of a particular genetic trait. Figure 1 lists the typical opportunities for genetic testing during pregnancy. First is preimplantation genetic diagnosis, routinely done after in vitro fertilization. After extracted eggs are fertilized and grown for two days, a cell is removed from each embryo to be tested, which will not harm the future fetus. After testing, chosen embryos are implanted in the mother; the rest are frozen, discarded, or used for research. Next is chorionic villus sampling, which is done around week 10 of pregnancy. It extracts a piece of placental tissue, which is genetically identical to the fetus; this adds about a 1 percent chance of miscarriage. Last is amniocentesis, which is done from 16 to 20 weeks, involving the extraction and testing of amniotic f luid, and is estimated to increase the risk of miscarriage by a bit more than 0.1 percent. Because chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can cause miscarriages, they are routinely recommended only for older mothers, who have a higher risk of having a child with chromosome abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. (At age thirty-five, Down Syndrome occurs spontaneously in about one in every 750 pregnancies; the risk increases yearly.) Otherwise, chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis are normally suggested after non-genetic tests—maternal blood tests and ultrasounds—indicate the fetus may have Down Syndrome or other abnormalities. Obviously, there is considerable pressure to make these tests available earlier during pregnancy to lessen the trauma of abortion, which is considered the only “treatment” for many genetic conditions. Indeed, our current inability to cure genetic disorders provides parents with few options when a genetic disease is detected. After a prenatal diagnosis, they can do nothing, leaving three to six months to imagine how their doctor’s abstract language will be manifested, or they can

abort the “defective” fetus. In the case of Down Syndrome, abortion is typical, with termination rates of 85–100 percent measured in the US, Britain, and France.2 Against that background, it is naïve to consider prenatal testing and selection separately, or to suppose many parents will use genetic information to prepare to care for an “abnormal” child. Rather, testing and selection today form a single paradigm, a device that increases the availability of normal children by avoiding the birth of aberrant ones.3 tests before and during pregnancy

Mainstream Christian Ethics How, then, should we a s Christia ns respond? One answer is provided by James C. Peterson, a young professor at McMaster Divinity with success in both evangelical and secular contexts. Peterson’s first book, Genetic Turning Points, is based on his dissertation with noted ethicist James Childress and aims to provide a comprehensive Christian over view of new and future genetic technologies and their ethical issues. His discussion builds from genetic research and testing to more futuristic techniques; I focus on the “Genetic Testing” section where he treats genetic counselling, new reproductive technologies, zygote screening, and prenatal screening. For Peterson, genetic counselling is a valuable source of neutral information for parents. Unlike some who declare 3

Figure 1


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certain lives are not worth living, a genetic counsellor does not force any decisions but “just tells the parents what their life or the life of the fetus is likely to be like.”4 He admits this ideal is not entirely realistic, as the selection of information and procedures to offer, as well as words and body language, can encourage one decision or a not her. Still, Peterson believes the nondirective model “does well” and “should be pursued,” a nd su g ge st s c ou nsel lors need only be honest about their convictions to avoid influencing their clients.5 Pe t e r s on i s s i m i l a r l y posit ive about a ssisted r e pr o du c t ion, i nc lu d i n g gamete selection and in vitro fertilization. He rejects views that nature is “God-given,” including the Roman Catholic position that humanity should recognize and conform to “the order of nature,” and Craig Gay’s concern in The Way of the Modern World that we have lost any possibility for nature to discipline what we choose and construct. 6 Rather, Peterson claims we were “created to naturally change nature,” and so we shou ld “su st a i n, re store, a nd improve ourselves.” 7 Therefore, he argues that since neither painkillers during labour nor Caesarean sections detract from God’s purposes in procreation, neither can e g g or s p e r m s e le c t ion . Peterson believes that the ideal place to welcome new life is in “rightly lived sexual intimacy,” but he argues that since God chose to incarnate himself without sexual union, procreation without intercourse cannot be “inherently evil.” 8 Overall,

Peterson dismisses arguments against new productive techniques that rest on their artificiality, their separation of sexual union and procreation, or their effect on children. Peterson also defends zygote selection, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis followed by selective implantation. (Zygote is the technical term for an embryo not yet implanted.) He acknowledges the first question is whether a zygote is a person, before going on to consider what zygote selection means provided a person is not present. Peterson criticizes the objection that selecting a child’s characteristics is bad practice for parenting. He counters that “giving one’s child the best start one can is part of good parenting.” 9 Furthermore, the technology’s availability makes parents responsible either for “selecting the child’s genetic endowment or for not doing so.”10 Choosing is inevitable. Peterson also asserts that the expense of in vitro fertilization is not a question of justice, given how parents sacrifice so their child can have the best available college education. Peterson dismisses C.S. Lewis’s concern that our power over nature will become the power of some over others. He argues that selection will improve children’s abilities and choices, not limit them. Parents should simply act “out of beneficence.”11 Peterson finishes by concluding that disabilities should be prevented before a person is present, if possible. He does quote a warning to not always equate disabilities with suffering or assume they are incompatible with happiness, but overall Peterson is enthusiastic about the potential of zygote screening, primarily because he argues earlier that zygotes are not persons.12 When it comes to prenatal screening, however, Peterson’s enthusiasm ends. He insists abortion is wrong before the stages of development tested by chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, and he therefore questions the tests and their associated “options.” Peterson also highlights how the standard recommendation to do amniocentesis and increase the risk of miscarriage for mothers over thirty-five

It is naïve to consider prenatal testing and selection separately, or to suppose many parents will use genetic information to prepare to care for an “abnormal” child. Rather, testing and selection today form a single paradigm, a device that increases the availability of normal children by avoiding the birth of aberrant ones.

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implies that the birth of a Down Syndrome child would be worse than the miscarriage of a normal fetus, which is hardly neutral.13 Ultimately, though, his view of prenatal screening rests on personhood. “If a person is present at [that] stage of pregnancy,” abortion is wrong.14 In summary, Peterson’s ethics of genetic screening prioritizes respecting individual autonomy, improving the human condition, giving children the best possible start to life, and preventing suffering. He also presupposes that information is neutral and desirable and that intervention in nature is inevitable and admirable. The primary difference between Peterson’s ethics and those presented in a secular bioethics textbook, such as Bioethics in Canada, is his refusal to see abortion as justified to relieve suffering.15 But although I agree with Peterson’s objections to prenatal selection and testing, I am not convinced he provides a nuanced ethic of genetic screening. Indeed, I suspect his confidence that personhood is the best lens for evaluating the ethics of screening may blind him to other questions raised by our new reproductive powers. In contrast, I will present six insights of virtue ethics and moral theology that could overcome these shortcomings and illuminate our response to genetic screening. A theological approach, I argue, recognizes the priority of character, theology, and desire over decisions, relevance, and definitions; it reveals the situated quality of our late modern ideas of normality, suffering, and disability; it remembers the nature of children as God’s gift of strangers; and it recovers the centrality of the church and its practices to embody generous hospitality.

among them deontological or duty-based ethics, and utilitarian or consequencebased ethics. Deontological ethics is often summarized as always follow universal rules; utilitarian ethics, as always act for the greatest good. Students then learn to apply these systems to hypothetical quandaries or dilemmas, which often involve forced choices between killing one innocent to s ave m a ny, or doi n g nothing and letting many die. The former “solution” is utilitarian, while the latter is deontological. Of course, no -w i n sit u at ion s ra rely occur, and when they do, few have the presence of mind to reason through which ethical system to use. But the greater mistake of modern ethics is it assumes dilemmas are the primary moral issue, when our daily lives generally consist of munda ne situations — ha rd ly “dilemma s”—that nevertheless strongly shape who we are. In contrast, virtue ethics recognizes that character precedes action: who we are comes before what we do. With that insight, decisions are still important, but as Stanley Hauer was argues, decisions first depend on having a “‘self ’ sufficient to take personal responsibility for one’s action.”16 Now, we generally assume all human beings can act responsibly, and need only t he proper protection of their rights to exercise their freedom. But this common view supposes we are free whenever there is more than one option and no external pressure. It ignores the real problems that arise when we have insufficient character or skills of perception to choose or even see the more difficult choice. Yet, “we can only act within the world we can

Virtue ethics recognizes that character precedes action: who we are comes before what we do. With that insight, decisions are still important, but as Stanley Hauerwas argues, decisions first depend on having a “‘self ’ sufficient to take personal responsibility for one’s action.”

Ethics Is Not About Decisions First, ethics is not about making good choices or the right decision, but about character and description. This is an ancient insight, although it may sound novel, due to the modern perspective that dominates how we think about ethics today. For example, students in ethics are typically presented with a variety of ethical systems, chief 5


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the greatest threat to authentic existence?21 Then meeting the needs and demands of others, including those tested by genetic screening, would be an opportunity to live an authentic human life.

envision, and we can envision the world rightly only as we are trained to see.”17 Rather than every situation being equally open to every person, our moral freedom depends on our character and perception, or lack thereof. Therefore, as Hauerwas contends, “The kind of ‘situations’ we confront and how we understand them are a function of the kind of people we are.”18 So human freedom is not developed primarily through t he r e m ov a l of e x t e r n a l l i m it at ion s , but t h rou g h growth in character. Indeed, growth in character will reduce our need to “face dilemmas” and “make difficult decisions.” This paradox is because virtues involve dispositions that entail decisions: virtuous individuals may appear to make momentous or even heroic decisions, yet simultaneously feel they had no choice but to do what they did if “they were to be faithful to their characters.”19 However, this does not imply virtue will make our lives easier. Being virtuous “challenges us to face moral difficulties and obstacles that might not be present if we were less virtuous.”20 And this ancient understanding of ethics creates another complication: since t he lea rning of a ny skill—including the skills of description and character— only takes place in relationship, it follows that our freedom depends on the communities to which we belong. This contradicts the modern idea that personal enlightenment consists in autonomy, or freedom from all stories and commitments except those we freely choose. Yet what if being bound to others is not a barrier to freedom, but the means of creating it? What if being self-absorbed is

Christian Ethics Should Be Christian Second, Ch rist ia n et h ic s shou ld be Christian. This sounds tautological, but much of modern Christian ethical discourse is dominated by attempts to avoid or apologize for theological claims. Indeed, the entire field of Christian ethics is a modern invention, insofar as Christians have traditionally understood the discernment of their moral calling to fall under pastoral and moral theology. Even that distinction— between moral theology and theology “proper”—is a distortion, as it is not clear the New Testament authors or church fathers distinguished between theology and pastoral direction. Nor were they alone: for the ancient Greeks, the study of philosophy involved submitting to a ma ster “in order to gain the virtues necessary to be a philosopher.”22 The unity between theology and virtue continued to be assumed through the time of Aquinas, and can still be seen in Calvin’s Institutes. But after the breakup of Christendom and the Wars of Religion, the philosophers of the Enlightenment worked to find moral principles that were not tied to any particular tradition. They thought only a moral philosophy derived from reason alone could save Europe from unending religious debate and war. Yet according to Alasdair MacIntyre’s analysis in After Virtue, their project has failed, leaving us with apparently incompatible moral systems and a fragmented, reductionist moral language. It is in this context that Christian theologians have attempted to translate theology into supposedly more universal language. Of course, Christians have always sought relationship with those outside the church to witness about the God revealed in Christ Jesus: the difference today is that some theologians also stand outside the Christian tradition, discussing why it “can

The entire field of Christian ethics is a modern invention, insofar as Christians have traditionally understood the discernment of their moral calling to fall under pastoral and moral theology. Even that distinction—between moral theology and theology “proper”—is a distortion.

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no longer pass muster.”23 Even if Christian ethicists avoid that extreme, it is still unclear how their ethics differs from other ethics. Medical ethicists are particularly vague on this point: indeed, Hauerwas observes that the development of medical ethics was a boon for “‘religious ethicists’ as it seemed to provide a coherent activity without having to [ask] what makes Christian ethics Christian.” 24 Rather, they could focus on issues like death, truth telling, covenant, trust, and autonomy. To be clear, these issues are vital, and so is the work done on them by thinkers like Paul Ramsey and James Childress. And since these scholars work as religious ethicists or just plain “ethicists,” they need not be concerned with their relationship to the Christian tradition. But adopting such an approach is dangerous for Christians: it makes them complicit in their own marginalization. For, as Hauerwas argues, if even theologians believe theology is “but a confirmation of what can be known on other grounds or can be said more clearly in non-theological language,” 25 then why bother with theology? Why not just do philosophical ethics, and dispense with the “Christian” qualifier? With our society’s genuine lack of consensus on the meaning of the good life or the purpose of medicine, we will continue to be tempted to downplay our particular convictions in the interest of toleration and harmony. But doing so only confirms the common assumption that theological claims are irrelevant to how we understand modern medicine and the questions it raises. James Peterson’s work ref lects this problem. For example, he tends to use theological sources only when needed to contradict Christian perspectives he rejects. In Peterson’s chapter on genetic testing and the family, he mentions four biblical texts: Paul’s words on wives’ and husbands’ bodies in 1 Corinthians and Ephesians, the commandment against adultery in Exodus, and the “one flesh” passage in Genesis. All are exegeted solely to illustrate how they should not apply to egg or sperm donation.26

The incarnation is mentioned once, as a divine refutation of the need to keep conception and sexual union together. 27 Peterson cites works by Paul Ramsey and Gilbert Meilaender, but primarily as examples of e xc e s s i ve c a ut ion . 2 8 Indeed, compared to the secular ethic advanced in the aforementioned Bioethics in Canada, Peterson’s analysis of screening suggests that religious rea soning is unnecessar y, apart from issues of abortion. In short, Peterson’s ethic illustrates how the modern ca ll to make Christian claims more palatable can become a n i n v i t a t i o n t o s e l fmarginalization. Definitions or Desires? So what difference does it make for Christian ethics to b e u n a p olo g e t ic a l l y Christian? Since Christian ethics, unlike other ethics, is properly a form of theology, we c a n move be yond a purely externa l ethic to c on sid er w he t her — a nd how—we are obeying the great commandments to love God and our neighbour. Indeed, that is the f irst question of ethics, for as Augustine argues in The City of God, “in order to discover the character of any people, we have only to observe what they love.” 29 Examining our desires and their formation allows us to overcome another gap between modern and ancient Christian ethics. Today we often think of sins as sinful 7

With our society’s genuine lack of consensus on the meaning of the good life or the purpose of medicine, we will continue to be tempted to downplay our particular [Christian] convictions in the interest of toleration and harmony. But doing so only confirms the common assumption that theological claims are irrelevant to how we understand modern medicine and the questions it raises.


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actions and Christian ethics as a tool to identify whether a particular act is sinful or not, which fits remarkably well with the modern focus on decisions and rules. But for Augustine and other church fathers, sin was above all a question of what we desire and whom we love. As Paul Griffiths writes, for Augustine sin is “a turning of the face from what is supremely good toward what is less good.”30 Sin is turning away from God, the supreme good, and turning in toward ourselves, or other creatures, alone. Now Augustine did not believe created things were evil, or that it was wrong to love the creation. In his own words, “sin is not a desire for naturally evil things but an abandonment of better things.”31 This abandonment happens when we grasp at creatures as if they were good or desirable independent of God. 32 A g a in, Au g u st ine agrees we should love all of God ’s creation, including children and other human beings. But we must love them as they are: creatures u lt i m ate ly dependent on God. To love them as things to be enjoyed or possessed in themselves is to love wrongly. Sin is always first an offense against God, caused by a disordered desire to grasp at creatures without God; and the cure for sin is a rightly ordered love that rejoices in God’s creation by also rejoicing in God. Augustine’s understanding of sin is therefore a needed complement to virtue ethics. After all, having the character to make a better but harder choice is useless to someone who does not desire the good. Yet this is where many ethics of genetic screening flounder. Because the law provides the ultimate sanction for modern behaviour, we often begin by asking what should be

permitted and what should be outlawed. For the issue of screening, debates typically revolve around whether an embryo or a fetus is a person, and if so, what legal and moral obligations society has to them, versus what rights remain with the parents. This seems reasonable, because we believe a good society begins with protecting persons from interference with their freedom to choose how to live their lives.33 But while these questions are helpful, starting with them neglects the priority of character and desire. We cannot create a good society without people of character who can choose the good and want to. Therefore, we should discuss genetic screening by first questioning what we want—especially our desires to avoid suffering and to have children. For these reasons, although I agree with Peterson’s opposition to prenatal screening, I suspect his arguments do more harm than good. By focusing on the legal status of the unborn, Peterson leaves intact the desires that produce demand for screening. Worse, the justifications for zygote screening he endorses are equally popular justifications for prenatal screening: to avoid disabilities and give children a better start to life. Peterson’s objection to prenatal screening rests primarily on his conclusion that a fetus is a person. Therefore, readers who accept prenatal screening because they believe abortion does not kill a person, or is only a relative evil that is justified to prevent suffering, will find little else to challenge them in Peterson’s book. They might even be encouraged by his conditional language— “if a person is present” or “if a zygote is a person”—and his admonition to avoid disabilities before a person is present. This is not Peterson’s intent, but such incongruity makes sense, given how distant arguments over personhood are from our everyday moral language.

We cannot create a good society without people of character who can choose the good and want to. Therefore, we should discuss genetic screening by first questioning what we want— especially our desires to avoid suffering and to have children.

What is Normal? Instead, I argue we should carefully examine our everyday language of “normal,” “suffering,” and “disability.” Although the definitions of these terms are debated 8


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by doctors, Christians, and others, their prevailing meanings remain imprecise, conditioned by popular images of what it means to have a good family and normal children. And because popular discourse lacks the stability provided by specific communities and traditions, it can more easily be manipulated. Normal, for example, can often come to mean “the ideal” rather than “the usual.” Again, when Peterson ref lects on zygote selection, he argues that parents should do whatever they can to give their children greater opportunities. Evidently, having more opportunities is better—but better for what? Being more productive? Acquiring wealth and power? Achieving happiness, success, and independence? Joel Shuman and Brian Volck illustrate how the appeal of technology to fulfill our desires for children usually involves redefining “the sad, the unpromising, the imperfect, the dependent, and the slow as abnormal.”34 Apparently, having limitations is no longer part of the human condition but a deficient state. Similarly, Therese Lysaught agrees that ideas such as what is “normal” and “undesirable” have a way of being “read into nature or human biology,” which is then used as “a warrant to provide an ‘objective’ basis for a socially constructed belief or position.”35 This is troubling, given the historical a lliance of genetics with eugenics, a movement t hat f lourished in Nor t h America in the first half of last century. The eugenics movement focused on reducing the population of “defectives” by preventing their marriage, forcing their sterilization, committing them to institutions, and even killing them. Genetic science was too young to understand the targeted traits’ actual inheritance, or lack thereof, but many leading geneticists and Christians still supported the movement. Eugenics mostly died out after the Second World War due to its association with the Nazi regime; yet even as late as the 1960s, many Western countries sterilized thousands every year. Today, however, eugenic goals can be achieved without coercion or force.

As Gerald McKenny argues, contemporary desires for perfect children are stimulated through “health information, advertising, prenatal and neonatal monitoring … and the fear of having an imperfect child in a society that … constantly measures persons [by] their usefulness.” 36 No authoritarian legislation is necessar y, because parents “freely” desire these narrowly defined images of perfection. Therefore, unless parents have alternative images to inform their desires and imagination, protecting their freedom to choose is pointless. Just as our concepts of “normal” and “defective” are conditioned by society, so too are our views of “suffering” and “disability.” For example, even if unnecessary suffering should be prevented, how do we understand and de f i ne “u n ne c e s s a r y ”? I s a ny e x p e r i e nc e of p a i n, unhappiness, or frustration unnecessary? If so, how could we eliminate such suffering? Some suf fering is pa rt of the human condition, and ca n only be prevented by preventing existence itself. Therefore, to ask “should we prevent suffering or not” is to create a false dichotomy. Rather, we must first question our descriptions—what we mean by “unnecessary” and “suffering.” And in particular, what does it mea n to say people with Down Syndrome or other mental disabilities suf fer greatly? Of course, they suffer from disease and anguish like anyone else, but it is unclear whether they suffer unusually more from being disabled. As Hauerwas comments, people with mental disabilities likely understand they are different, and

Is any experience of pain, unhappiness, or frustration unnecessary? If so, how could we eliminate such suffering? Some suffering is part of the human condition, and can only be prevented by preventing existence itself. Therefore, to ask “should we prevent suffering or not” is to create a false dichotomy.

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they may “perceive that there are some things some people do easily which they can do only with great effort or not at all.”37 But in itself, this does not imply extreme hardship. We all, especially children, have to confront and live with limits. And sadly, many of the limits the disabled struggle with are caused by living in a society we have made. We are inhospitable to them actively and through indifference, and the limited care they do receive is largely thanks to “those who have found themselves unexpectedly committed to care” for a disabled person.38 Worse, as the number of people with disabilities dwindles, our sympathy is increasingly rooted in ig nora nc e, not empathy. As Hauerwas argues, si nc e we u su a l ly c a n not imagine or understand what a life with disabilities is like, we imagine instead what our life would be like if we were disabled. 39 Our arguments then sound plausible, but only reproduce our own fears and desires, not those of someone different from us.

poses, we can be held responsible for the quality of that product. Traditionally, of course, parents conceiving a child did not think of themselves as producing a product. … [But] as technology makes possible a more complete responsibility for the child’s well-being, so it also lays upon all who use it a heavier burden of responsibility. Complete freedom, godlike freedom, gives rise to utter responsibility. “Wrongful life” suits simply recognize the fact that we have begun to think of ourselves not simply as cooperators with a power greater than our own but as ultimate life givers. And then we cannot avoid the impetus toward “quality control.”40

Examining who we are and what we desire brings us to a curious but crucial question: what are children for, exactly? It sounds impolite to ask, but we need to be reminded that children are What Are Children For? God’s gifts to us, Examining who we are and what desire brings us to a curious not our personal we but crucial question: what are children for, exactly? It sounds property or impolite to ask, but we need to be reminded that children are God’s products. gifts to us, not our personal

Moreover, as selecting for some traits must preclude other possibilities, we should not be surprised when parents who genetically select or modify their child’s abilities (or refuse to) are also subject to lawsuits. So what are children for? Joel Shuman and Brian Volck give a powerful answer. They argue children are not sophisticated pets, consumer items, or our hope for the future, but extravagant gifts to be received with gratitude, and they suggest that the practice best suited to encourage and train the gratitude with which we need to raise children is “hospitality toward strangers.”41 Indeed, rather than being understandably ours, “children are always already strangers to us, springing from the womb with characters and callings beyond our control.”4 2 This insight challenges our jealous protection of our own plans for life and our tendency to see children as projects. From what I have seen, children are difficult gifts. You rarely receive what you expect. They are much more expensive and demanding than pets, and they have a unique capacity to make parents’ lives miserable. And more seriously, children suffer. Sometimes they suffer horrendously, and sometimes they die before their parents do. Indeed, Paul’s “troubles” surely include children when he observes, “those who marry will face

property or products. Indeed, the science fiction concept of children as products is already common; consider the justification of so-called “wrongful life” lawsuits, where a disabled child (or their parent) sues those “responsible” for the failure to prevent their birth and their subsequent economic harm. As Gilbert Meilaender writes, this strange responsibility is a logical outcome of the supposed freedom granted by selective abortion: If we create a product for certain pur10


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many troubles in this life” (1 Cor. 7:28). In short, having children can appear to be a bad idea: bad for parents, bad for children. Therefore, perhaps in modern times parenthood only makes sense when we admit our children are not ours, but God’s. Sarah Williams has written a heart wrenching account of her experience of carrying to term a baby with a dysplasia that is almost inevitably fatal at birth. Later on in the book, after her labour has begun, an image comes to Sarah’s mind of a horse and rider coming with incredible urgency to rescue Cerian, her unborn child.43 She then shares the picture with her husband, Paul, who replies:

themselves or others by … productivity, beauty, and success” would lack the desire to produce bodies according to popular norms.46 And if Christian ethics should be Christian, our understanding of what it means to be Christian should be mediated f irst by t he church. Ot her wise, our modern individualism, consumerism, and instrumentalism will continue to reinforce our narrow understanding of sin and our extreme fear of physical and mental disabilities. In short, communities matter, and we may soon be in a society where only an alternative community can form the people needed for virtuous medicine. But w hy t he c hu rc h ? Although the distance between reality and ideal may seem greater for the church than any other institution, it still perseveres, preaching the Word and celebrating the sacraments. And indeed, the sacraments have enormous implications for bioethics: they challenge our modern anthropology, our view of what it means to be human. For example, Gilbert Meilaender begins his Bioethics by grounding rights, individuality, and community in the sacrament of baptism. He writes, “In baptism God sets his hand upon us, calls us by na me, a nd thereby e st abl i she s ou r u n iquely individual identity and destiny. … [Baptism also] brings us into the community of the church.”47 From this perspective, baptism is a radical action that we too routinely perform, without regard for how it should change our understanding. Consider that Christians do not reserve baptism or child dedication to only those infants with particular abilities, but instead welcome those who are incapable of knowing what the event means or choosing to participate. Therefore, infant baptisms and

For medicine to remain a moral art with a generous practice of presence and care—rather than becoming a consumerdriven peddler of cures—we need communities of hospitality that embody the presence of God’s peaceable kingdom.

You are only doing what every parent has to do. We have to let Cerian go and give her back to God. One day we’ll have to let Hannah and Emilia go too. That’s the goal of parenthood: releasing them to God. They are his anyway; we are merely guardians. Every contraction may be taking us further from Cerian, but they’re taking her closer and closer to God, where she belongs.44 Medicine Needs the Church Finally, medicine needs something like the church. That is, for medicine to remain a moral art with a generous practice of presence and care—rather than becoming a consumer-driven peddler of cures—we need communities of hospitality that embody the presence of God’s peaceable kingdom. Hauerwas puts it more strongly: “medicine needs the church … as a resource of the habits and practices necessary to sustain the care of those in pain over the long haul.”45 Such claims may seem unrelated to the previous five points, but they all move in this direction. If our ethics and freedom depends on who we are and how we describe the world, then the narratives and traditions of our communities are, for good or ill, decisive. Similarly, our desires for our children are shaped by our communities, which is why Gerald McKinney suggests a communit y that did not “mea sure 11


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dedications demonstrate the extravagant abundance of God’s grace for children regardless of what they can do or what standards they meet. So, as Therese Lysaught argues, we need to remember we do not understand identity and normalcy according to genetics, but instead interpret genetics according to our baptism and new identity in Christ, and our appreciation and love for God’s diversity over genetic uniformity. 48 Baptism thus points forward to communion, where we celebrate God’s undeserved hospitality to us through C h r i s t J e s u s . I d e a l l y, communion is a place where a ll t he fa it hf u l, wit hout distinctions of appearance or ability, can receive and extend God’s hospitality and thereby model the kingdom of God and the church ’s mission in the world. Insofar as our congregations are segregated a nd homogenous, t hey demonstrate our sinfulness, but this does not—cannot— ne g ate ou r c a l l to ba se hospitality to children and the unborn on the doctrine and practices of the church. T he r e f or e , I s u g g e s t Christians have already in the church the vocabulary and habits they need to make sense of the strange world of modern medicine. Perhaps Christians rooted in the church could find genetic selection offensive, not because we have carefully defined what a person is, but because we recognize screening is a radical restriction on which children we will extend hospitality to. We could be proud that we do not test children to meet conditions for inclusion,

but instead accept them as extravagant gifts. Similarly, our openness to diversity in communion could equip us to recognize and reject the imposition of uniformity. Our meditation on the humiliation of Christ, and our humble service to the world’s “misfits” and “defectives,” could provide us with the alternative images necessary to imagine a community and a love not so desperate to correct the other. Finally, our education in the difficult virtues of compassion might give us the wisdom needed to discern those hard cases that are truly incompatible with life or goodness. Our communities would then have less need of abstract debates about what constitutes suffering or a person, because we would have our own functioning moral language and the training in virtue to use it rightly.

Infant baptisms and dedications demonstrate the extravagant abundance of God’s grace for children regardless of what standards they meet. We need to understand identity and normalcy not according to genetics, but instead interpret genetics according to our baptism and new identity in Christ, and our appreciation and love for God’s diversity over genetic uniformity.

Endnotes

1 Nncy Press and Kiley Ariail, “Genetic Testing and Screening: I. Reproductive Genetic Testing,” in Encyclopedia of Bioethics, ed. Stephen G. Post, vol. 2, 3rd ed. (New York: Macmillan Reference, 2004), 996. 2 See, respectively, T.M. Caruso, M.N. Westgate, and L.B. Holmes, “Impact of prenatal screening on the birth status of fetuses with Down syndrome at an urban hospital, 1972–1994,” Genetics in Medicine 1 (December 1998): 22–28; David Mutton, Roy Ide, and Eva Alberman, “Trends in prenatal screening for and diagnosis of Down’s syndrome: England and Wales, 1989–97,” British Medical Journal 317 (October 1998): 922–23; C Julian-Reynier et al., “Attitudes towards Down’s syndrome: follow up of a cohort of 280 cases,” Journal of Medical Genetics 32 (August 1995): 597–99. 3 See Albert Borgmann’s discussion of the modern “device paradigm” in Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 40ff. 4 James C. Peterson, Genetic Turning Points: The Ethics of Human Genetic Intervention (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), 162. 5 Ibid., 164. 6 Ibid., 186–88. 7 Ibid., 190. 8 Ibid., 192. 9 Ibid., 194. 10 Ibid., 195. 11 Ibid., 198. 12 See ibid., 123–37. 13 Ibid., 201. 14 Ibid., 202. 15 Indeed, although I do not endorse their conclusions, the authors of Bioethics in Canada provide a nuanced discussion of new reproductive technologies, genetic counselling, and prenatal testing. See David J. Roy, John R. Williams, and Bernard M. Dickens, 12


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Bioethics in Canada (Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall Canada, 1994), 132–-189. 16 Stanley Hauerwas, A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), 113. This and the next section draw heavily on Hauerwas’s work. 17 Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), 29. Hauerwas here expands an insight of Iris Murdoch. 18 Hauerwas, A Community of Character, 115. 19 Ibid., 114. 20 Ibid., 115. 21 Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom, 44. 22 Stanley Hauerwas, “How ‘Christian Ethics’ Came to Be,” in The Hauerwas Reader, ed. John Berkman and Michael G. Cartwright (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), 37. Hauerwas here refers to the work of Robert Wilkin and Pierre Hadot. 23 Stanley Hauerwas, “On Keeping Theological Ethics Theological,” in The Hauerwas Reader, 53. 24 Stanley Hauerwas, Suffering Presence: Theological Reflections on Medicine, the Mentally Handicapped, and the Church (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986), 71. 25 Hauerwas, “On Keeping Theological Ethics Theological,” 53. 26 Peterson, Genetic Turning Points, 180–82. 27 Ibid., 191–92. 28 See especially ibid., 191, 195–96, and 198. 29 Augustine, De Civitate Dei, 19.24. See also James K.A. Smith’s discussion of Augustine and Heidegger in Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 46ff. 30 Paul J. Griffiths, Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004), 56. 31 Augustine, De Natura Boni, 36. Griffith’s translation.

32 Griffiths, Lying, 59. 33 In this way, the liberal public sphere is analogous to the free market: both rely on a concept of negative freedom that is ultimately nihilistic. See D. Stephen Long’s discussion of abortion in The Goodness of God: Theology, Church, and Social Order (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2001), 218–22; and William T. Cavanaugh’s application of Augustine in Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 9ff. 34 Joel Ja me s Shu m a n a nd Br ia n Volc k, Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006), 87. 35 M. Therese Lysaught, “From Clinic to Congregation: Religious Communities and Genetic Medicine,” in On Moral Medicine: Theological Perspectives in Medical Ethics, ed. Stephen E Lammers and Allen Verhey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 554. 36 Gerald P. McKenny, “Bioethics, the Body, and the Legacy of Bacon,” in On Moral Medicine, 318. 37 Hauerwas, Suffering Presence, 171. 38 Ibid., 163. 39 Ibid., 174. 40 Gilbert Meilaender, Bioethics: A Primer for Christians, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 53–54. 41 Shuman and Volck, Reclaiming the Body, 80–83. 42 Ibid., 83. 43 Sarah C. Williams, The Shaming of the Strong (Vancouver, BC: Regent, 2007), 122. 44 Ibid., 124. 45 Hauerwas, Suffering Presence, 81. 46 McKenny, “Bioethics, the Body, and the Legacy of Bacon,” 322. 47 Meilaender, Bioethics, 2. 48 Lysaught, “From Clinic to Congregation,” 554–55.

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Poetry

Better than Seven Sons To Ruth Wherever you go I will go Your people Shall be mine I wonder at the simplicity of your Yes to keeping company in the flesh with the sorrow of someone else’s blood. Yes to the dead and the living dust of Bethlehem and barley harvest. Yes to letting visible humiliations collide with God’s hidden glory silently in your hungry arms, glowing against the frayed grain. We all rush through the bruised arteries of time; you know this, you, grieving a family: you see the way time lives, breathes, collapses, reroutes, carries and drops the air, the way it curls back to where it began, condenses, drips and spreads into the edges of pain in our bodies as if to say You’re still alive. But no story ends where we do; you know this too, you who are mother in an ancestry that shook the universe’s span. I wonder what you saw, and whether you saw the story through the threshing dust or gleaned some image of salvation before you fastened yourself to faithfulness between the bitter grains of foreign family, resolute through the biting unlogic of love. Perhaps you were wholly outside, looking inward, letting emotions play with your small, lonely body, letting God’s plans arc through you, letting them pick you up and drop you at love’s feet. Bethany Hindmarsh 14


“Title The Good Life: author Living In Urban Space Craig Handy

A

s I have attempted to find what is important to me as an architect over the past years, I have discovered that one of the great blessings of my profession is it affords ample opportunity and means to consider, both abstractly and concretely, que st ions of li fe, being , a nd personhood. Upon such reflection, it seems to me the same two key questions lie at the heart of architectural practice and Christian faith: What is the good life? And what does it mean to be a good neighbour? Here I will brief ly try to show how addressing these questions as an architect and as a Christian has run in parallel for me. We a ll need a place to live. This need—for a place that sustains us, in which we find shelter, belonging, and identity—is fundamental. Architecture is, fundamentally, the provision of shelter. However, to this basic definition we must also add that such shelter is an expression of its inhabitants. The long history of architecture is in a sense an elaboration of rudimentary shelter commensurate with the increasing complexity of human activity. Architecture is the physical and tectonic dimension of “home-making,” where homemaking means inhabiting a place in the world. (Heidegger’s concepts of “dwelling” as “gathering” and “revealing” within a “life-world” are helpful observations.) Our workplaces, schools, churches, and civic buildings are just as much part of our “home” as are our domiciles. It is not surprising then that having taken this view of architecture, I find the question of how

to be at home in the world is a fundamental preoccupation for me as an architect. Architecture is the project of understanding how we can inhabit all the places we use well and how design contributes to doing so. Living well in the cities and towns we find ourselves in today, however, is a diff icult enterprise. A lienation and dislocation are commonplace in societies w he r e a ut on omy, m o bi l it y, s p e e d , differentiation, and utilitarianism are dominant values. A culture of individualism and consumptive materialism prevails; this culture has become an “iron cage” that defines our personal identities and public life1 and causes their fragmentation. Among the many critics who have diagnosed this reality, Albert Borgmann and Jacques Ellul offer particularly helpful explanations for how our culture has become superficial by supplanting ends with means.2 Quality of life and genuine community are difficult to cultivate and are greatly lacking in this “living arrangement that Americans now think of as normal [but which] is bankrupting us economically, socially, ecologically, and spirituality.”3 What then is to be done to improve this situation? Borgmann and Ellul offer constructive suggestions, and by combining spiritual wisdom with sociological insights, I think much can be done. Criticisms of contemporary culture are often couched in a romantic desire to return to the past; architecturally this is manifest in calls to restore traditional town-squares and marketplaces.4 This is a good recognition of what has been lost in our culture, and there 15

Craig Handy has recently completed an MCS at Regent College and is returning to architectural practice in Toronto.


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are many lessons to be found in studying historical forms and practices. Yet we cannot simply turn back the clock; nor will better design save us from ourselves.5 Instead, we must confront the modern condition and engage seriously with its philosophical and spiritual realities if we are to seek reform in a situation s i g n i f i c a nt l y a lt e r e d b y technological and philosophical changes. Nonetheless, I agree with New Urbanists and other neotraditionalists that genuine community is at the heart of what is missing and that renewing the built environment to foster communit y a nd interaction is enormously important. Modern cit y pla n n i ng essentially fails for two reasons. Instrumentality and profit have replaced civic interests with the result that common spaces are now usually privately owned and commercially driven. And the few spaces that are public often suffer from a lack of ownership or responsibility, which c auses t hem to be untended, unattractive, and, f requent ly, d a ngerou s. A typical apartment building demonstrates how this is true across many scales and uses: the loss and neglect of public space renders yard, party-room, and corridor inhospitable. Any architecture that responds to this unhappy situation and aims to be healthy, especially one that desires to celebrate community, must help people to balance the personal and common parts of their lives and will have a capacity for people to encounter each other. Jean Vanier’s Becoming Human is an insightful meditation on what it means to

be human within community. He says, “as humans we are caught between competing drives, the drive to belong, to fit in and be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and the drive to let our deepest selves rise up.”6 In summary,

Although the influence of architecture is always secondary to social “infrastructure” … this in no way diminishes the significant impact the built environment has in either supporting or inhibiting a particular way of being. An important role of architecture is to balance independence with belonging, to support boundaries, and to establish places for interaction.

belonging is important for our growth to independence ... and maturity. It is only through belonging that we can break out of the shell of individualism and self-centredness that both protects and isolates us.... [But in conformity to a group, the] price that we pay, as society, in the repression of individual growth and denigration of individual creativity is too high... [so] belonging is a necessary mediation between an individual and society.7 Belonging is at the heart of being, but healthy belonging allows for individuals to be wholly themselves as members of the communities to which they belong. Vanier also reminds us that boundaries are important, but these boundaries must be porous, as groups are both open and closed.8 People have their being in particular social contexts, and social institutions exist within a social and physical environment. Architecture and urbanism (i.e., buildings and sets of buildings along with the spaces in between) therefore play a powerful role in setting the stage for the kind of world we live in. Although the influence of architecture is always secondary to social “infrastructure” (the built environment is more a reflection of its society and an inf luential feedback loop, rather than determining the culture), this in no way diminishes the significant impact the built environment has in either supporting or inhibiting a particular way of being. In Vanier I find a deeper understanding of my own conviction that an important role of architecture is to balance independence with belonging, to support boundaries, and to establish places for interaction. Since belonging to communities that are both open and closed is essential to healthy human life, it is vital that the 16


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built environment provides places that enable communities to be both open and closed. There are a number of dimensions to this balancing act; first, individuals need a balance of solitude and community, therefore groups need to balance being apart and being together. Similarly, groups must also be apart from and engaged with the broader society. Edith Schaeffer offers an excellent picture of this reality when she says of the family that it “is a door that has hinges and a lock.... If a family is to be really shared, then there needs to be something to share. Whatever we share needs time for preparation.”9 This is firstly a sociological and spiritual issue, but it must also find physical expression. Finding the right physical forms for this balancing of private and public operations is, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of architecture. Before considering this, however, allow us to consider our terminology: although private and public are more commonly used terms, I think personal and common better capture the nature of these two spheres. They avoid problematic obsessions in modernity with the individual and the corporate, and instead stress the complementary relationship between persons as unique but defined by what they experience in relation. And when speaking of life together, I prefer to speak of it as communitarian rather than communal. This is not without its own problems since communitarianism is also a social philosophy with strong notions about belonging that are both helpful and problematic. But at least it emphasizes individuals in community over and against individuals subsumed in the communal. Communal life is good for some, but it has much potential to become a coercive and manipulative form of community.10 Looking to Acts 2 and 4, where the early church “had everything in common,” many commentators have argued for a community of voluntary, need-based generosity.11 I think there is a general theological principle at work here of God continuously inviting us to give without demanding once-and-for-all commitments. We are called to continually

choose to participate in graciously receiving and then generously giving out of what we find ourselves with. Although unbridled individualism and materialism are certainly destructive, they are the corruption of goods that are good. Vanier says a goal of healthy community is for its members to “become more fully human, more fully alive: the healthy individual within the healthy group.”12 Independence, choice, and pr i v a t e pr op e r t y a r e a l l valuable goods, so long as they are employed in the service of cultivating healthy persons in healthy relationships. So architecture should foster an environment where we are able to exercise these goods in a way that is defined by giving. Tu r n i n g n o w t o a rc h ite c t u r a l pr a c t ic e , I su g ge st t hat i f l iv i ng i n c om mu n it y i s a n a c t of balancing the personal and common, then moments and places of transition will be of signif icant importance. This is especia lly true of contemporary society in which most of us belong to quite a lot of communities and life seems to consist of constant movement between groups. Thresholds and interstitial spaces are particularly significant in architecture. It is a relatively simple thing to enclose a space and furnish it. A great challenge and delight in architecture is in connecting spaces. Finding the right relationship between spaces is a complex matter. Belonging mediates socially; architecture mediates physically and symbolically. Design, therefore, is largely a process of bringing out the best in one’s work, and

A great challenge and delight in architecture is in connecting spaces. Finding the right relationship between spaces is a complex matter. Belonging mediates socially; architecture mediates physically and symbolically. Design, therefore, is largely a process of bringing out the best in one’s work, and in one’s neighbours’ work, by carefully considering contextual relationships.

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in one’s neighbours’ work, by carefully considering contextual relationships. Places of transition are moments of balance and a source of wealth. In them we meet, welcome, and learn from one another. At all scales, from within a household to the metropolis at large, we need places of encounter—places where people regularly a nd c a su a l ly r ub shou lders with a diverse group of strangers, acquaintances, and friends in a manner at least partly unmediated a nd u ncont rol led. T he unexpected and unplanned a re a va lu able pa r t of life. If all our paths and interactions were chosen or prescribed, we would not often get to know one a not her, nor wou ld we encounter the stranger. Fur t her, a s Christia ns, generous hospitality is to be a mark of our faith.13 Hospitality, welcoming, caring for, even simply taking interest in others is radical and risky.It is especially audacious when it is concern for those who are marginalized. There is something genuine and disarming about encounters framed by daily activity. Their casual nature affords an ease and honesty, from which interest and intimacy can grow, if we are willing to risk it. Places of encounter are the soil from which compassion, civility, and community can grow, if cultivated. The hubbub of life can be overwhelming; trust and openness carry real danger; and modern culture easily choke s at tempt s at com mu nit y a nd conviviality. The challenge for architects is the same challenge for all of us—to reform first our thinking and with it our built environment toward recognizing a place for

everyone (especially for the marginalized), fostering communities of various kinds and sizes, and providing as much chance as possible for encounter and interaction which grow organically out of daily life. In summary, if our human nature means we need to be both alone and together, then a primary function of architecture is 1) to provide places to be alone as well as together, 2) to communicate these places, and 3) to mediate the relationships, boundaries, and crossings between them. Over the course of my architectural study and practice, these two ideas— creating and signif ying persona l and common space, and designing for places of enc ou nter — h ave bec ome c ent ra l convictions.14 Of course, these are not original ideas—they are merely common sense. They are evident in traditional places throughout the world, and contemporary architecture largely understands them de spite e v idenc e to t he cont ra r y. A Christian recapitulation of these t wo objectives helps steer clear of utopianism wh i le g rou nd i n g t hem i n pr a c t ic e s that move far beyond a vague hope of community and a good life. Recently I have found the missiona l theolog y of Bosch, Guder, and others to be very helpful in developing my ideas further.15 In this article, I suggest life is lived as an orbit of retreat and engagement. Christian communities are called out of the world and sent into it. A missional community regularly gathers together and disburses into the world. It follows Christ’s example and lives “incarnationally” by entering fully into the world while living in allegiance to a future reality that is gratefully accepted as gift primarily by practicing a radical hospit a lit y. Missiona l t heolog y is a thoroughly Trinitarian perspective, and it is to Trintiarian theology that we must turn in order to ground and develop a robust theology of community and of the built environment. Sadly, of the latter, very little has been written, although T.J. Gorringe offers an exciting sketch of where such reflection may lead.16

Over the course of my architectural study and practice, these two ideas— creating and signifying personal and common space, and designing for places of encounter— have become central convictions.

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My theological understanding remains inchoate, but in these resources I find the promise of a rich and sustaining vision of community that can remain open in the face of the substantial risks and costs involved in genuine community. Building graciousness into our cities and homes will be arduous and costly, but it is a vital aspect to the cultural mandate and the Great Commission, and its reward is an increase of delight and meaning in even our present circumstances. It is noteworthy that the charm and intimacy of traditional neighbourhoods is largely a result of limited resources. And it is no accident that the modern explosion of affluence resulted in dystopia alongside real gains. A vision far greater than a good life in material terms is required to overcome our present architectural and social maladies. We can participate in this vision of conviviality in the strength of One greater than ourselves. Fol low ing El lu l, we c a n pa r t icipate i n God ’s sav i ng t he world t h rou g h architectural practices of preserving the world.17

2 Albert Borgmann, Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2003); Jacques Ellul, The Presence of the Kingdom (New York: The Seabury Press, 1967). 3 James Howard Kunstler, Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the Twenty-first Century (New York: Touchstone, 1998), 17. 4 Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (New York: North Point Press, 2001). 5 Although built form does significantly shape values and practices, it is not as determinative as is sometimes suggested. Be careful to attribute appropriate influence to the built environment. 6 Jean Vanier, Becoming Human (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 1998), 18. 7 Ibid., 35, 56, 57. 8 Ibid., 64. 9 Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family? (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1975), 211. 10 Parker Palmer in Guder, Missional Theology, 179. 11 John Stott, The Message of Acts (Leicester: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 82–4, 106–8. 12 Vanier, Becoming Human, 53. 13 Christine D. Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999). 14 They have also helped shape a conceptual interest in the threshold and liminal conditions, which space prevents me from introducing in this article. 15 Dav id J. B osc h, Transfor ming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991); Guder, Missional Theology. 16 T.J. Gorri nge, A Theol og y of the B uilt Environment: Justice, Empowerment, Redemption (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 17 Ellul, The Presence of the Kingdom, 23–29.

Endnotes

1 Max Weber in Darrell L. Guder, ed., Missional Theology: A Vision of the Sending of the Church in North America (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 30.

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Poetry

Homeless He knows better: Pilgrims can also be refugees waiting at the borders of one another. I’m sorry, He tries to say. Their hands shake. It’s winter, so to distract from the discomfort of my cold presence and the silence pooling helplessly outside my mouth, what I imagine is this: that he has drawn on his creased napkin a map for finding love with the girl beside him in some north south east west way. A quiet notation of distance. She understands. Between them, the hush of trembling is actually beautiful. With five careful spoonfuls of sugar, coffee is sipped— a tensioned calm invested with the sweetness of purposed motion. None of us are too lost, these days. If anything, we are too found. Mountains moving along each other’s faults in thick silhouettes, bending light into blues against the ancient sky. It is a long time that they sit there, slow fogs of breath hanging between them. Two ends of a line. A to B. Between the letters and the leaves of the paper napkins, I wish to be anchored beyond the false homes mapped on myself, to present better words or true motion, and I wonder if in all our fragile deepnesses, we might keep seeking, for forgiving, a little room. Bethany Hindmarsh Bethany Hindmarsh is presently studying Classics at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is from Vancouver and grew up in the Regent community.

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Juxtaposed Journeys: The Pilgrim’s Regress and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Robert Jones For this end I made your senses and for this end your imagination, that you might see My face and live. —The Pilgrim’s Regress

consciously mirrors John Bunyan’s dream in The Pilgrim’s Progress in order to describe his soul’s journey, propelled by “Desire” (not unlike Joyce’s), which ultimately led him “down to Mother Kirk” (back to the Anglican Church). While Lewis points out that his story is not all autobiographical, its most important features reflect Lewis’s own spiritual pilgrimage. Regress was published in 1933, seventeen years after Joyce’s Portrait.3 This article then will briefly highlight some of the surprising similarities between the spiritual pilgrimages of these two gifted men. In particular, I will illustrate how Lewis not only draws the outline of his own journey toward faith in Christ, but how he also draws, unintentionally but surely, the outline of James Joyce’s journey toward “unfaith” in Christ and the Catholic Church in Ireland. The comparison I believe has much to reveal to us in understanding our own and others’ struggles as we all journey toward belief or disbelief in Christ and in those who claim to represent him. To begin their works, both Lewis and Joyce offer their readers simple, drawn maps. Lewis, in his preface to the third edition of Regress, explains the different “shires” on his “Mappa Mundi.” He notes the regions his protagonist, John, travels in the North and South Country and the narrow Main Road that dissects the two (“the Road on which alone mankind can safely walk,” Regress, xiv).4 Likewise, Joyce also provides a map in his Portrait, titled “Dublin and Environs.” It seems that our journeys, whether physical or spiritual, require maps.5

The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails. —Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

T

wo Irish writers, James Joyce, raised an Irish Catholic in Dublin, and C.S. Lewis, raised in Belfast a m id t he Chu rc h of Irela nd (Anglican), were both children of their respective churches and both published “conversion” stories, as it were. They were books that reflect in different ways their individual spiritual journeys. For Joyce, it was a turning away from his inherited faith; for Lewis, a turning back toward it. James Joyce’s novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was published in 1916.1 It is a thinly veiled description of his own life in Dublin and his move away from the Roman Catholic Church, its faith and teachings (as well as from Ireland). It’s a flight from what he considered the “chill and order” of the Catholic Church into what he considered to be the fire and spontaneity of the artist’s life and vocation. C.S. Lewis wrote an allegory in 1933, originally titled The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apolog y for Christianity, Reason and Romanticism.2 Lewis’s allegory 21

Robert Jones (MTh 1983, Regent College) lives in Hong Kong and pastors and teaches in an Asian and international church in the city. He is currently writing his ThM thesis, comparing two allegorical spiritual journey stories, The Pilgrim’s Progress (Christian) and The Journey to the West (Buddhist). He and his wife, Amy, have four grown children.


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However, at the beginning of his novel, Joyce also gives his readers two lyrical maps, which represent competing views of reality from the viewpoint of a child. They are almost-poems, written by the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, and his friend Fleming on the f lyleaf of Stephen’s geography schoolbook. Stephen will chart his life and spiritual journey upon one. He writes: Stephen Dedalus Class of Elements Clongowes Wood College Sallins County Kildare Ireland Europe The World The Universe

childhood inscriptions, alerts the reader to these implicit questions: Upon which map will the young artist find himself and his way? Which will provide the canvas for the artist’s hand as he attempts this unique selfportrait and spiritual journey? Both Joyce and Lewis begin the journeys of their main characters, Stephen and John, in childhood. In many ways both are compliant children. Their stories, therefore, do not begin with adult crisis, nor are they prodigal sons. They are simply children being children, taking their cues of “how the world works” from their parents, friends, family, and priests and pastors. As children, they are accepting and trusting. And while both grow up quickly, out of childhood and into adolescence within a few pages in their narratives, it is clear that what they learn as children about God and their parents’ relationship to that God becomes deeply formative for their adult lives. In Portrait, Stephen is portrayed as a sensitive child, spiritually aware and genuinely comforted by his childhood Irish Catholic faith expressed in priests, prayer, and ritual. He’s genuinely devout well into adolescence. But at a family dinner, having come home from Catholic boarding school for Christmas holidays, young Stephen witnesses a family fight and discovers that the Church and its priests and beliefs in which he has placed his trust are not trusted by the adults closest to him. That which is a source of assurance to him he discovers is a cause of deep conflict and disagreement among his own family and their friends. In the heat of argument, Mr. Casey, a family friend, asserts, “No God for Ireland. We have had too much God in Ireland!” (Portrait, 39). Stephen’s father agrees, much to his mother’s dismay. Mrs. Dedalus warns her husband that Stephen should not hear this talk “against God and religion and priests,” as he will remember it when he grows up. Mrs. Dedalus will be proven right. In Regress, John’s loss of spiritua l innocence begins when his parents take him to “the Steward” for his first taste of religious instruction—catechism in the

Joyce alerts the reader to these implicit questions: Opposite to Stephen’s, Upon which Fleming writes a doggerel in which he offers an alternative map will the way of looking at the world: young artist find Stephen Dedalus is my name, himself and his Ireland is my nation Clongowes is my way? Which dwelling place And heaven my will provide the expectation. canvas for the S t e p he n’s w or ld v i e w, t h o u g h c h i l d -l i k e , a l s o artist’s hand as provides hints of a later adult that, while providing he attempts this map a “you are here” arrow in unique self-portrait the “universe,” of fers no expectation of a real journey, and spiritual but only a diminishment of the self as the universe journey? expands. In contrast, Fleming insists on giving Stephen not only a name and a beginning place, in Clongowes, but he also adds an ending and a hope: “heaven is my expectation.” Fleming’s simple poem is essentia lly incarnational, for it provides Stephen both an earthly and present “dwelling place” as well as an “otherworld” destination. It affirms both particular human locality and divine cosmic purpose. Joyce, through these

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pastor’s house. His parents tell him that it is the Steward “who makes rules for all the country around here.” The episode serves only to confuse John, for the Steward emphasizes that the Landlord (God) is “very, very kind,” but he is also unpredictable (and notably absent). Further, the Steward puts a mask on whenever he talks about the Landlord and the dire consequences of breaking “the rules,” and talks of this relationship between “people like us” and the Landlord as a necessary fiction: “Easiest for all concerned” (Regress, 5). The message is clear: there is real life, and then there is God (the Landlord) and religion (the rules). Real life is lived without a mask, where one can have a “nice sensible chat,” but when one must deal with God, a masquerade is required. It is clear where reality lies. Tragically, John’s parents support the Steward in this construction of reality. This religious pretense is intensified when “Uncle George” faces his own unexpected death. “The Landlord has sent him notice to quit,” explains John’s mother (Regress, 8–9). The Steward, his parents, all are wearing masks (even little John is given a child-size mask to wear)—except Uncle George, who is now too afraid to play games. Platitudes are uttered, even as Uncle George begins his forlorn and solitary way along the brook of death, toward the dark uncertainty of the moorlands of the Eastern Mountains. John now realizes that the Landlord is not only absent, but also unpredictable, as one can never know when “one’s lease is up.” And the funeral make-believe performed by the others is not lost on him. The pivotal moment in Regress occurs when John is out walking, reading the card of rules given to him by the Steward. As he walks, he looks through “a square hole” in a stone wall, by which he catches a vision of an island in the mist. He hears what sounds like “one note of a bell, and after it a full, clear voice … very far away, further than a star,” saying “Come.” In that moment, “there came to him a sweetness and a pang so piercing that instantly he forgot his father’s house and his mother and the fear

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of the Landlord and the burden of the rules” (Regress, 6–7). It is a poignant moment of beauty and longing that transcends all he has been taught about God and religion (which up to this point has been unreal and rationalistic); and it is this “Desire” (what Lewis would later call “Joy” in his autobiographical Surprised by Joy) that propels him on his journey in search of its fulfillment—a fulfillment in which “the mere wanting is felt to be somehow a delight” (Regress, ix).6 Si m i la rly, i n Por t rait , Stephen experiences both the loss of religious innocence and transcendent “Desire.” 7 After experiencing the conflict within his family over the Church and its role in the political and social life of Ireland, and after being physically punished unjustly at his Catholic boarding school, which Stephen felt was deeply “unfair and cruel” (Portrait, 52–53); he retreats to his room, and to his adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo, “ragged” from repeated readings. “The figure of that dark avenger [the Count] stood forth in his mind [representing] whatever he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange and terrible” (Portrait, 62). Stephen longs for a hero (and to become one himself ); he longs for a romantic world and a reality beyond his own. Wanting to participate in this other world, Stephen recreates from bits of coloured p a p e r “a n i m a g e of t he wonderful island cave” in which the hero of the book hides. He also imagines a “small whitewashed house in the garden of which grew many rosebushes.” Here, in his mind’s eye, lived his own Mercedes (the hero’s fiancé), and from

[John’s vision of the island] is a poignant moment of beauty and longing that transcends all he has been taught about God and religion … and it is this “Desire” that propels him on his journey in search of its fulfillment—a fulfillment in which “the mere wanting is felt to be somehow a delight.”

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her love and this landmark “he lived through a long train of adventures, marvelous as those in the book itself ” (Portrait, 62–63). This episode reflects Lewis’s own longings; he writes of a “particular recurrent experience which dominated my childhood and adolescence and which I hastily called ‘Romantic’ because inanimate nature and marvelous literature were among the things that evoked it” (Regress, ix).8 To be fair, Stephen’s childhood occasion of reading The Count of Monte Cristo in Joyce’s novel does not carry the weight of John’s “island in the wall” event in Regress; yet it is certainly an echo of it and is deeply symbolic of the roma ntic desire that Stephen bears into adolescence and adulthood as the narrative unfolds. As time passes, the vision and music that John first heard through the stone wall, and continued to hear through his childhood, grows infrequent, and so John believes that perhaps it was just a feeling. In the attempt to replicate the experience, he sets his own course to explore the wood, hoping to again find the sea and island. John’s will becomes willful. “I shall insist on finding it, I am determined to” (Regress, 12). But the wood does not yield what he is searching for, so in his disillusionment John readily exchanges the want of the sea and island for simple want for lust, in the form of nymph-like, naked “brown girls” who laughingly say to him, “It was me you wanted, I am better than your silly islands” (Regress, 13). However, the lusty pleasures of the “brown girls” are short-lived, and the memory of the Landlord and the rules creates moments of only fear and guilt in which he becomes “tired to death and raw in his soul” (Regress, 15). The longing for the

Island and sea becomes fainter and more infrequent—yet a remnant does last, and it is this longing that motivates John to begin his journey in earnest. So he turns to the romantic South Country.9 But it is more loss than longing that now moves him. John is not a happy traveller. Likewise, in Portrait, Stephen, now an adolescent, wanders the streets of Dublin because he “burned to appease the fierce longings of his heart before which everything else was idle and alien” (Portrait, 99). He ref lects that “his childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple joys, and he was drifting amid life like the barren shell of the moon” (Portrait, 96). Real women will now replace his imaginary childhood fiancé, Mercedes, who had beckoned and inspired Stephen from the pages of The Count of Monte Cristo. Stephen’s subst it ute for t he t r ue fulfillment of his desire is his own Irish “brown girls” found in the brothels of Dublin, in whose kiss he “felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour” (Portrait, 101). The experience is at first intoxicating. But Stephen’s “days and works and thoughts could make no atonement for him, the fountains of sanctifying grace having ceased to refresh his soul” (Portrait, 103). He too is haunted, as was John, by “the Landlord and the rules.” The prostitutes of Dublin can no more satisfy Stephen’s restlessness and desire for adventure and beauty than John’s “brown girls.” A f ter t u r n i ng towa rd t he S out h Country, John encounters another detour and diversion in his search for the Island, in the figure of Media Halfways. (Stephen Dedalus will also encounter a woman in his journey that bears a striking similarity to Media.) But before John meets the comely Media Halfways, he encounters Mr. Enlightenment, embodying rationalism, and Mr. Virtue, embodying “natura l human conscience.”10 Mr. Enlightenment assures John that the Landlord is indeed unreal. John’s suspicions are confirmed: the Landlord doesn’t exist, and the self-serving

The lusty pleasures of the “brown girls” are short-lived, and the memory of the Landlord and the rules creates moments of only fear and guilt in which he becomes “tired to death and raw in his soul.”

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A nd i n h i s re pud i at ion of t h i s opportunity, Stephen too finds freedom: “There was a lust of wandering in his feet that burned to set out for the ends of the earth. On! On! His heart seemed to cry” (Portrait, 170). Just as John exulted in his new-found freedom from God and religious rules— “There is no Landlord. There is no black hole” (Regress, 24)—Stephen exults in his freedom from the Roman Catholic Church and its call to the priesthood. He would refuse the “oils of ordination,” thus freeing him “from the grave of boyhood.” He would “create proudly out of the freedom and power of his soul … a living thing new and soaring”(Portrait, 170). “Where was his boyhood now? Where was the soul that had hung back from her destiny?” (Portrait, 171). Just as Mr. Enlightenment a nd M r. Vi r t u e pr e p a r e John for Media Half ways, the priest at the Clongowes School prepares Stephen for his encounter with a woman; a girl on the beach “midstream, gazing out to sea” (Portrait, 171). However, the literal girl is transformed through Stephen’s imagination into an icon of the self-created aesthetic life, the life of the artist, combining sensuality and divinity: “a wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty” (Portrait, 172). She is the artistic epiphany of Media Halfways. Stephen believes he has now found what he is searching for: “‘Heavenly God!’ cried Stephen’s soul, in an outburst of profane joy. … Her image had passed into his soul forever” (Portrait, 171–72). Early in their journeys, both Stephen and John have significant encounters with those who would see themselves as representing Mother Kirk (the Church).13 John meets the Steward; Stephen encounters his priests at

Stewards only perpetuate the myth. As well, modern, popular science has proven that God is not necessary in life’s equation. Mr. Virtue assures John that ethics are possible without God and religion, and “to travel hopefully is better [than] to arrive.” No ultimate destination is required, and one is only required to “make the best rules he can” (Regress, 26). John exults in this new independence and liberation: no Landlord and no religious rules! He concludes, “If the world has the mountains at one end and the Island at the other then every road leads to beauty and the world is a glory among glories” (Regress, 24). John then meets Media Halfways, a beautiful woman with whom John speaks in “slow voices, of sad and beautiful things” (Regress, 27).11 She poses as one who is neither “brown girls” (“too gross”) nor all “Island” (“too fine”); she is an aesthetic alternative, the “Romantic compromise between coarse sexuality and idealized spirituality.”12 She pretends she can satisfy both John’s flesh and John’s spirit. She seems to represent and embody what the novelist John Updike would call “the three great secret things”: art, sex, and religion. Her kindly priest-like father insists the Island John is searching for is located within John and Media’s love for each other, and indeed within each of them. In Portrait, what precedes Stephen’s encounter with his own Media Halfways is not modern scientific rationalism and existential ethics (Mr. Enlightenment and Mr. Virtue), but a version of Regress’s Mother Kirk: he is invited to consider the priesthood of the Irish Roman Catholic Church—a call that as a child “he had so often thought to be his destiny” (Portrait, 165). Stephen is offered a life of security and position as a Jesuit priest, which is appealing for its influence—“the power of a priest of God” (Portrait, 158). But as an adult, Stephen now considers it a “grave and ordered and passionless life” (Portrait, 160). He listened, but the priest’s offer “had already fallen into an idle formal tale (Portrait, 162). The call once enticing now repels.

Just as John exulted in his new-found freedom from God and religious rules— “There is no Landlord. There is no black hole” —Stephen exults in his freedom from the Roman Catholic Church and its call to the priesthood.

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the Jesuit Clongowes School. John is given the rules, while Stephen hears an extended and moving homily on hell (John’s “black hole full of snakes”). It moves Stephen to fear, but not to love. Mother Kirk is not as attractive as Media Halfways or the girl on the beach. John sees her as an “old witch” dressed in an “old cloak” and not to be trusted (Regress, 71). However, John would later come to realize that his impressions were wrong. In contrast, Stephen retains his distrust of the Church and turns away, never to return within the pages of the novel. But the finality of this rejection is questionable. In Portrait, Stephen has a nother encounter with a representative of the Church in a priest who asks him, “You are an artist are you not?” (Portrait, 185). Interestingly, in answer, Stephen employs a theologian of the Church, Thomas Aquinas, “a poet himself ” to articulate the artistic call (Portrait, 210). He uses the resources of reason and devotion within the Church to construct his aesthetic theory (Portrait, 186, 212– 13). Significantly, he does not appeal to his contemporary, secular culture. Stephen’s friend Cranly is later proven correct when he observes, “Stephen, your mind is supersaturated with the religion in which you say you disbelieve” (Portrait, 240). But it seems Stephen wants to slake his thirst from what Lewis calls “spilled religion” (Romanticism), for it is spilled from its historical and biblical Christian cup (Regress, the preface, 13). In other words, the Church is still the hidden source from which Stephen drinks to sustain his art. Stephen’s ambivalence with respect to Lewis’s Mother Kirk is further ref lected

when Cranly challenges Stephen and asks him whether he feels “sure that our religion is false and that Jesus was not the son of God?” To which Stephen replies, “I am not at all sure of it. He is more like a son of God than a son of Mary” (Portrait, 243). W hat Stephen mea ns here is not altogether clear, but he is not willing to admit that Jesus is a hoax, a “blackguard” as Cranly puts it. Yet Stephen says, “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church” (italics mine). As far as Stephen is concerned, Jesus is a part of that enslaving “trinity” that he is wanting to escape: “When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language and religion. I shall try to f ly by those nets” (Portrait, 203). Significantly, in his assertion of freedom, Stephen sees himself as a small bird—yet so does John in Regress. But what a contrast bet ween these t wo “birds”! John will come to see that “all things said one word: CAUGHT because the Landlord—call him by what name you would—had come back to the world, and filled the world, quite full without a cranny.” Thus he understood himself “never to be alone; never the master of [his] own soul … in which there is no corner of the universe in which he could say, ‘this is my own; here I can do as I please.’” So John made this song: “Beating my wings, all ways, within your cage / I flutter, but not out” (Regress, 149–150). John rejoices in God’s “net” in a way that Stephen will never comprehend. John will serve; Stephen refuses to. Why doesn’t Stephen come to John’s joyous realization? W hat makes God ’s cage the place of freedom for John, while for Stephen it is that which he fears the most? Perhaps because Stephen never encounters “the Man” (Jesus) at the bottom of Lewis’s Canyon, called “sin of Adam” (Regress, 74). Jesus remains distant and divine, “more a son of God than a son of Mary,” one to whom he is unable to reach out his hand. He confides simply to

What makes God ’s cage the place of freedom for John, while for Stephen it is that which he fears the most? Perhaps it is because Stephen never encounters “the Man” (Jesus) at the bottom of Lewis’s Canyon, called “sin of Adam.”

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his friend Cranly, “I fear.” And what does Stephen fear? “That there is a malevolent reality behind those things I fear” (Portrait, 243). So he takes flight. He continues to believe (or wants to believe) that freedom is found in the artistic call, a “priest without God,” the aim being “to discover the mode of life or of art whereby your spirit could express itself in unfettered freedom” (Portrait, 246). He never then reaches the bottom of Lewis’s Canyon, to accept that he is not “his own man” (Regress, 148). Stephen’s arms remain imaginatively locked around the girl in mid-stream, Lewis’s Media Halfways. He cannot run the risk of losing her and continues in her deceptive embrace. Therefore he cannot grasp “the Man” who holds out his hand to John and commands, “It’s now or never” (Regress, 144). If we were to look back to The Pilgrim’s Progress, upon which Regress is modeled, it would seem Stephen’s spiritual journey is more a flight to the City of Destruction than the Celestia l Cit y, even as he’s caught up in the seductions of Vanity Fair. However, if we were to plot Stephen’s pilgrimage on Lewis’s “Mappa Mundi” in Regress, he leaves “the Road on which alone mankind can safely walk” (Regress, xiv) in search of his Island, as he says to his friend Cranly, “I will try to express myself in some mode or life or art as freely as I can” (Portrait, 247). Thus, like John at the beginning of his spiritual journey, Stephen seeks his own freedom in the romantic “swamps of the South,” f leeing the regions of the North and Northerners, of the rationalists and religionists: the “Stoic, Ascetic, Rigorist, Realist, Classicist—men of rigid systems and pale complexions” (Regress, 160). But, unlike John, he stays in the South, captivated by the “delicious tang of the forbidden” (Regress, 160). He thus never attempts to cross the Canyon of Adam’s sin. He sees no need, or perhaps he’s too afraid of losing what he has come to love. But notably, Stephen does not stray too far south, not as far south as the “shire”

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of “Occultica”; nor does he venture into “Orgiastica.” He is not at home in the cities of “Sodom” or “Antinomia.” Perhaps he was too much a child of the Church, unwilling to “forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent” (Portrait, 244), for the irrationalism of the occult or promiscuity.14 (He knew that while the brothels were pleasurable, they were also a dead end.) His Jesuit schooling and Thomistic training in “Cerimonia” still shape both his character and thought perhaps more than he knows. Stephen settles in and settles for the “shire of Aesthetica.” So while John becomes a genuine pilgrim, Stephen becomes more of a constrained nomad.15 A t t he c onc lu sion of Regress, John ref lects on his arduous journey: “But now I think better things. Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place —to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land” (Regress, 206 –207). These are the “tether and pang of the particular,” which were created to point to the universal, yet incarnational, God. He has made himself known in these particulars of life, and is revealed uniquely in Jesus of Nazareth who is himself the very “scandal of particularit y,” 16 conf ined a nd caged by Jewish history and the language of Aramaic, yet paradoxically the “desire of all nations” (Hag. 2:7). Surely Joyce understood the knitting of one’s heart to “nationality, language and religion” (and we are moved by Stephen’s deep friendships in Portrait), but they

Like John at the beginning of his spiritual journey, Stephen seeks his own freedom in the romantic “swamps of the South,” fleeing the regions of the North and Northerners, of the rationalists and religionists: the “Stoic, Ascetic, Rigorist, Realist, Classicist—men of rigid systems and pale complexions.”

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Juxtaposed Journeys: The Pilgrim’s Regress and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

continued to be forms of subjection to him, “nets” to be escaped. And of course they can be and often are, if these loyalties are not transformed and transcended by the love of the Landlord and loyalty to the Man at the bottom of the Canyon. But here is what John discovers on the last page of Lewis’s allegory (Regress, 207–208):

Lawrence (also contemporaries), but he does not refer to Joyce. 4 The Main Road represents for Lewis the one road to hold to between the rational or “cerebral” (the North) and the emotional or “visceral” (the South), as we are neither “beasts” (the South) nor “angels” (the North); for we are “Men-things at once rational and animal” (Regress, xv). 5 While Joyce’s map is a straightforward map of Dublin, Lewis’s map represents “the intricate journey through the worlds of thought and feeling and desire” (J.S. Southron, New York Times Book Review, 8 [December 1935]:7, cited in Kathryn Lindskoog, Finding the Landlord: A Guidebook to C.S. Lewis’ Pilgrim’s Regress [Chicago: Cornerstone Press, 1995], xxix). 6 Lewis wrote in a letter to Alan Bede Griffiths in 1954, “All joy (as distinct from pleasure, still more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status: always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings” (cited in Lindskoog, Finding the Landlord, xxxi). 7 It seems Joyce’s character Stephen is experiencing Lewis’s “sweet Desire … this hunger better than any other fullness; this poverty better than all other wealth … that cuts across our ordinary distinctions between wanting and having” (Regress, x). 8 This event in Portrait, in which Stephen constructs this miniature cave, also reminds me of Lewis’s description in his autobiographical Surprised by Joy when as a child he first experienced what he would later call “Joy” upon seeing a miniature garden set in a biscuit tin, made by his brother. These small creations can speak of a larger unseen creation and symbolize longings that far outstrip the symbol, much like the Eucharist. The Word always seems to be finding ways to become flesh! 9 The “South Country” represents for Lewis “some sort of intoxication” in which “every feeling is justified by the mere fact that it is felt” (xiv). 10 Lindskoog, Finding the Landlord, 17. 11 Interestingly, L . Adey notes that Media Halfways “suggests a heroine of magazine romance” and that Lewis in his third edition (1943) describes her as ref lecting “the modern literary movement.” Surely Joyce could identify with this. L.Adey, C.S. Lewis: Writer, Dreamer and Mentor (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 109. 12 Andrew Wheat, “The Road Before Him: Allegory, Reason and Romanticism in C.S. Lewis’ The Pilgrim’s Regress,” Renascence 51, no. 1 (Fall 1998): 36. 13 To put this in Lewis’s “Mappa Mundi” terms, Stephen rejects what he experiences of the Church in the region of “Cerimonia” (ritual), while John refuses the form of the Church he finds in “Puritania” (rules). In these caricatures, God and the gospel are also rejected. 14 In a flash of Irish wit Stephen explains he is also not willing to trade the absurd but logical and coherent faith of Irish Catholicism for the “illogical and incoherent” faith of Protestantism. He tells his

For whatever I know not, I, heartrending What the men together say, lovers, lovers die reason, Stephen How And youth passes away. was never able to Cannot understand Love that mortal bears receive that “one For native, native land —All lands are theirs. voice and face” Why at grave they grieve that transcends For one voice and face, And not, and not receive “nationality, Another in its place. For whate ver hea r tlanguage and rending reason, Stephen (and Joyce) was never able religion”; and to receive that “one voice thus he became and face” that transcends “nationality, language and captive to loves religion”; and thus he became captive to loves and not the and not the Lover, to the gifts and not the Giver, and to his art Lover, to the and not the Artist. Stephen could not (would gifts and not the ultimately not?) understand “Love that Giver, and to his mortals bear” and “receive Another” in their place. art and not the Endnotes 1 All references are to A Portrait Artist. of the Artist as a Young Man (New

York: Penguin Books, 1977). 2 The title was shortened by the editor to The Pilgrim’s Regress. All references are to the third edition (Grand Rapids: Bantam Books by arrangement with Eerdmans, 1981). 3 I have purposely not reviewed any secondary literature to know whether Lewis, prior to his writing of Regress, had read or interacted with Joyce’s Portrait, as I wanted to view the material through my own eyes. Perhaps he did. In Lewis’s preface to the third edition of Regress, he does explicitly mention authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and D.H. 28


Juxtaposed Journeys: The Pilgrim’s Regress and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

friend Cranly, “I said I had lost the faith, but not my self respect!” (Portrait, 243–44). 15 This seems true for Joyce as well, for even though Joyce, like Stephen, wants to escape the “nets of nationality, language and religion,” he remains captive to them in his imagination, as his later fiction bears witness in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. 16 A phrase first coined by the late missiologist

CRUX Fall 2010/Vol.46, No.3

Lesslie Newbigin in The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978). He used it to describe the problem of divine election, relating God’s universality and the world to his particular words and deeds in Israel and then in Jesus. Perhaps if Joyce had been able to shift his imagination from Ireland to Israel, his journey may have ended differently!

29


Book Reviews

Saving the Holy Sepulchre: How Rival Christians Came Together to Save Their Holiest Shrine

steps led to a crypt and then down to a chapel where St. Helena is said to have discovered the relics of the True Cross. The chapel survives to this day. T he orig i na l By z a nt i ne structure was replaced centuries later by an even more magnificent cathedral built when the Crusaders conquered the land. This brought under one roofâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;actually a huge domeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the various shrines such as the rock of Calvary, the tomb or Edicule, and numerous chapels around the ambulatory, or processional corridor around the apse. But inevitably, age and climate took their toll, as did the constant wear and tear of so many thousands of pilgrims. In 1808 a devastating fire did heavy damage, and in 1927 an unprecedented earthquake in Jerusalem alerted the authorities to the fact that repairs were urgently needed. Unfortunately, despite the basilica being so venerated, or more probably because of it, the various church communities who, over the centuries, had claimed the right to worship in the building had never been able to agree with each other as to how this historic building should be maintained or repaired. These quarrels had been so intense that in 1757 the Turkish Sultan who ruled Jerusalem as part of the Ottoman Empire had imposed a law stating that none of the communities was to be allowed to change anything in the structure or in its furnishings and decoration. This Status Quo edict, as it was called, was enforced rigorously, so that all attempts by one or

by Raymond Cohen Oxford University Press, 2008 320 pages $30.95 (CDN)

ISBN-10: 0195189663 The most venerated church in Christendom is surely the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, or as it is sometimes known, the Church of the Resurrection. Christian pilgrims have been coming to this shrine for over seventeen hundred years. It was near this spot that the Roman Emperor Constantineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, Helena, in the early years of the fourth century, is reputed to have identified the hill of Calvary where Jesus was crucified. Not far away she also believed she could locate the site of his burial in the tomb, and hence the site of his resurrection. Unfortunately, both were located under a second-century Roman temple dedicated to Venus. But with imperial backing, this heathen building was cleared away, and an impressive Christian basilica began to be built. From its floor, 30


Book Reviews

CRUX Fall 2010/Vol.46, No.3

other community to undertake repairs were prohibited. The result was benign neglect, so that by the end of the nineteenth century, many observers were predicting the building would soon collapse. But luckily, in the twentieth century, it was saved, as is excellently and informatively described in a recently published book by Raymond Cohen. The obstacles were enormous. In the first place, over the past hundred years, Jerusalem has come under the control of four competing and incompatible political regimes. Each had its own ideas as to how to deal with the Christian Holy Places, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in particular. The four centuries of Turkish rule came to end in 1917 when the Protestant British General Allenby rode into Jerusalem and raised great fears among the Catholics and the Orthodox that the heresies of the Reformation would be imposed on them. In fact the British instead established Palestine as a Mandate of the League of Nations, and were sedulously careful to uphold the now ancient Status Quo settlement. But in 1948, Jerusalem’s Old City was occupied by the Jordanian army, and for nineteen years an international boundary ran along its battlements, only a few yards from the sacred precincts of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1967, during the Six Days’ War, Israeli forces succeeded in evicting the Jordanians, luckily without any serious damage to historic monuments. I s r a e l i m m e d i a t e l y a n n o u n c e d it s determination to protect the Holy Places and to make them open to all comers. The possibility of an international outcry at the time, and later the desire to encourage Christian tourists, has led successive Israeli governments to adopt a strict hands-off policy. But in contrast to the Jordanians, they see no reason to become involved with the fractious problems of the Holy Sepulchre’s repairs. The initiative was therefore left to the Christian communities themselves. But it took a great many years before the age-old suspicions and rivalries could be overcome

between the six groups who all claimed the right to worship in the Holy Sepulchre. The principal actors have been the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Latin or Roman Catholic custodians of the sanctuary also with their own Patriarch, and the Armenian Church, asserting that it was the oldest continuous community. Lesser but often noisy claims were maintained by the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Copts, and the Abyssinians. Over the centuries, each of these had sought to obtain ownership—or at least use—of particular portions of the basilica, or had established rights to use parts of the building for its processions and services, even where ownership was disputed. Since there were hardly any surviving written records, in effect the eighteenth century Status Quo arrangement froze matters indissolubly. Any suggestion by one community that repairs should be undertaken was often fiercely contested—sometimes for years. Each community also suspected that, with any changes, their age-long rights might be eroded. Naturally each demanded, for reasons of prestige, that it should appoint its own chief architect. Getting these men to agree proved extremely arduous and led to many delays. In any case there was strong disagreement as to what they were undertaking. The French Catholics sought to restore as much as possible of the mediaeval masterpiece. The A rmenia ns, on the other ha nd, wanted a reconstruction in a more modern st yle, which could include A rmenian paintings and frescoes. Compromise was exceedingly difficult. Furthermore, even when agreement on each detail was reached, it all had to be approved by the respective ecclesiastical patriarchs, who in turn had to ensure support from their homelands. But finally, over the past fifty years, compromise agreements were reached on the need for urgent and constructive repairs on the now dilapidated basilica. Little by little, the unsightly mass of wooden scaffolding that had blocked out the great dome for decades was removed. The interior 31


CRUX Fall 2010/Vol.46, No.3

Book Reviews

Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ

regained its ancient splendour, a nd t he dome wa s decorated a ne w w it h a n ecu menic a l, if abstract, design. Largely due to the unprecedented cooperation of the local church leaders, the architects were encouraged to recruit skilled masons who could handle the delicate tasks of restoring the brickwork, the stone surrounds, the pilasters, and the paintings. Their work had to be carried out, of course, while below in the main body of the church, the daily services, processions, and pilgrimages were conducted without ever ceasing. The result was that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which had been in real danger of collapse, was saved for posterity. This remarkable rescue effort has now been skillfully described in Raymond Cohen’s book, using as many of the surviving records as could be found, as well as his personal knowledge of the site and his many visits to see how the rebuilding project was progressing. Of course, as Cohen points out, this great achievement cannot be taken as evidence of any desire for closer Christian unity. Inter-church reconciliation is not on the agenda in Jerusalem. The weight of history and theological controversy still dominate ecumenical relations. These agelong conflicts have not been resolved. But, for this magnificent restoration project, cooperation and compromise prevailed, and the adversaries came together in a common cause. Had they not done so, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre would today be a ruin. But now it stands, as it has done for so many centuries, as the most venerable and sought-after pilgrimage site in all Christendom. We should indeed be grateful for the blessings bestowed on us by this unexpected and momentous restoration, and also thank Raymond Cohen for his perceptive record of how this achievement was finally brought about. ~John Conway John S. Conway is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of British Columbia.

by Eugene Peterson Eerdmans, 2010 290 pages $28.99 (CDN) ISBN-10: 0802829554 Every so often I wish someone would sit me down for a stern conversation. Tell me I’m sloppy, distracted, and worrying too much about the wrong things, way too busy and way too tired. Make me wipe the dust off my sandals and get on the road again. I hope they’ll reorient my view and make me shift my gaze—the way a high school teacher did long ago, and years later a pastor at a camp where I worked one summer. Problem is, once you’re an adult, few of us do this for each other. Hats off to Eugene Peterson—for in his newest book, Practice Resurrection, he has done just this. In this fifth and last volume of his spiritual “conversations” series (a fine overview of Protestant spiritual theology) Peterson offers a detailed walk through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, lassoing in all the pieces of growing up in Christ and becoming mature. Emphasizing the church community as the context where this maturing must take place, Peterson covers the crucial topics for each of us: grace, prayer, the Holy Spirit, the union of love and worship, the Holy Spirit at work, life in our households, and lastly, the ways of the devil. Practice Resurrection is a two-part dissection, simultaneously unbraiding the strands that create true Christian maturity and the components of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. But this is not a commentary. It’s broader and more nuanced, like seeing “Avatar” through 3-D glasses. Peterson’s analysis weaves his clear 32


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CRUX Fall 2010/Vol.46, No.3

tions in which the Holy Spirit is working. If we are serious about church and want to participate in what the Holy Spirit is doing, these are the conditions [221].

grasp of our postmodern culture, the state of the church, and the state of North American Christianity into his exposition of Ephesians. If you have ever distanced yourself from the Ephesian church, thinking Paul’s words are no longer relevant, you are unlikely to do so again. Having spent fifty years as a pastor, Peterson is credible in being both bitingly critical and ardently devoted to life in church. You can’t dismiss his passion in either direction. To mature in Christ is to be deeply rooted in church—there is no way around it, for Peterson or for the Apostle Paul. He begins with some pastors’ priorities:

While Practice Resurrection is all about life in the church, and life in us in the church, there are other treasures to commend it. Working his way through the material of Ephesians 5, Peterson both attacks and sidesteps the common anguish over those verses pertaining to relationships between husbands and wives. He takes on the competiveness that permeates not just our work places, schools, and churches (“when the competitive spirit enters the church, we end up with a real mess,” 235, emphasis his), but our families and marriages. He turns our attention to approaching our relationships “out of reverence for Christ.” Lastly, as Peterson focuses on evil, he is perhaps at his most original, explaining, “Paul is calling us to be alert to the evil that, in fact, looks like the good … the methods, the ways that the devil does things. You can’t see a method, a way—you can only see what it accomplishes” (257). In closing, Peterson includes a fine appendix, “Some Writers on the Practice of Resurrection,” with recommendations from Dante to Beuchner. Practice Resurrection is so incisively true and blunt that it is bound to annoy and even offend. It is a conversation—direct and personal—but it’s a stern one. One reader said he thought Peterson was getting a bit cranky. I disagree. There’s nothing cynical or impatient here. Other readers will feel that just as his prescription for maturing in Christ is too circuitous and too slow, so is his book. You have to concentrate to read this book. You have to think deeply. Practice Resurrection won’t translate onto Twitter. But Practice Resurrection is a gem, a biblically rooted, exegetically precise, wisely expressed gem. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in recent months, maybe years. For Baptists and Presbyterians and Pentecostals and Anglicans—this one’s for us. ~Julie Lane-Gay is Senior Editor for Crux. This review first appeared in the May 2010 issue of The Anglican Planet and is reprinted here by permission.

Evangelism is essential, critically essential. But is it not obvious that growth in Christ is equally essential? … The church runs on the euphoria and adrenaline of new birth—getting people into the church, into the Kingdom, into causes, into crusades, into programs…. I don’t find pastors and professors for the most part very interested in matters of formation in holiness. They have higher profile things to attend to [5]. Moving on to hopes and obstacles in this route to maturity, Peterson writes, This way of thinking—church as a human activity to be measured by human expectations—is pursued unthinkingly. The huge reality of God already at work in all the operations of the Trinity is benched on the sideline while we call a timeout, huddle together with our heads bowed and figure out a strategy by which we can compensate for God’s regrettable error into invisibility…. We can no more understand church functionally than we can understand Jesus functionally [118]. But as he heads through Ephesians 5, Peterson concludes: If we want to embrace a truly spiritformed church, we must embrace the messy conditions—the complexity of relationships both interpersonal and Trinitarian, the many levels of maturity and immaturity, the ever-present vulnerability of everyone to sin—out of which it is being formed. These are the condi33


CRUX Fall 2010/Vol.46 No.3

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