Blog

Mysticism and Terrence Malik’s “Knight of Cups”

Presented March 12, 2021. at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), 52nd Annual Convention.

Malick’s 2015 Knight of Cups portrays the chaotic-yet-cathartic life of a Hollywood screenwriter and his spiritual ascent out of decadence towards existential meaning. With the backdrop of John Bunyan’s 17th century allegory, the prison epistle The Pilgrim’s Progress, and the constant visual storytelling themes of Platonic ascesis and enlightenment, the film can be fairly interpreted as utilizing the scala literary form, that is, having to do with the “ladder of divine ascent.”

With this in mind, a “spiritually formative” (rather than expository) reading of each of the arcana in the film (characters who Malik links to Tarot cards) may also elucidate the mystical journey of the protagonist, Rick. The “anonymous” author of Meditations on the Tarot explores the Tarot of Marseilles through this lens and serves as a helpful interlocutor. His elucidations on various cards (The Moon, The Tower, The High Priestess, and Death) will be examined, building typological links between the characters’ portrayal in the film and their potential meanings in Rick’s spiritual exercises.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible — First Impressions + Review

First impressions review of the “The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version” (5th edition). Filled with a ton of historical-critical study notes from an ecumenical perspective. A must have for grad and seminary students.

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Available in softcover ($26) and hardcover ($36) editions.

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Our Sunday Visitor NAB Catholic Notetaking Bible — First Impressions + Review

Review of “St. Gregory’s Prayer Book” published by OSV, Our Sunday Visitor. Wide margins, exegetical and historical notes, cross references, and other helps. A great option for a Catholic study Bible.

/// PURCHASE & DETAILS ///
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Available in softcover ($34) edition.

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St Gregory’s Prayer Book — First Impressions + Review

Review of “St. Gregory’s Prayer Book” published by Ignatius Press. A prayer book for use by members of the Anglican Ordinariate, Catholics, or others interested in incorporating liturgy and poetry into their prayer life.

Also see my review of a related prayer book, the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dSOKcelbg4

/// PURCHASE & DETAILS ///
Purchase “St. Gregory’s Prayer Book”: https://amzn.to/3fCGdl2 (affiliate link)
Available in Kindle ($14) and leatherette ($25) editions.

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The Didache Bible — First Impressions + Review

Review of: “The Didache Bible: With Commentaries Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church” published by Ignatius Press and Midwest Theological Forum.

/// PURCHASE & DETAILS ///
Purchase “The Didache Bible”: https://amzn.to/3jOoSZP (affiliate link)
Available in Kindle ($30), hardcover ($45), and leather ($60) editions.

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Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham — First Impressions + Review

Review of the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham. Edited by Monsignor Andrew Burnham.
Prayer Book used by many: Anglicans, Episcopalians, Catholics, and members of the Ordinariate.
INTO TO THE ORDINARIATE: 0:34 / SKIP TO REVIEW: 5:12

/// PURCHASE & DETAILS ///
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Available in hardcover ($70) edition.

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Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament — First Impressions + Review

Review of The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament. 2nd Edition of the RSV text. Edited by Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. Published by Ignatius Press.

/// PURCHASE & DETAILS ///
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Available in Kindle ($16), paperback ($25), and hardcover ($35) editions.

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A Marketing and Advertising Analysis of Bernays’ Correspondence Regarding Freud

For the Ohio University History Graduate Student Association Conference on March 28th in Athens, Ohio, I wrote an interdisciplinary paper about the Bernays correspondence regarding the ad man’s uncle, Sigmund Freud.

Note: the conference was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19, but the paper was prepared in advance.

Podcast Interview: “Mind, Heart, and Soul” with Robert P. George and R. J. Snell

In Mind, Heart, and Soul: Intellectuals and the Path to Rome (TAN Books, 2018), a cradle Catholic (Robert P. George; McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University) and an adult convert (R. J. Snell; Director of Academic Programs at the Witherspoon Institute, Princeton University), offer the stories of sixteen Catholic converts, each an intellectual or leading voice in their respective fields.

The interview is hosted on the New Books Network website. Click the link to see the Christian Studies channel or listen below.