The dearth of posts recently is regrettable. I’ve got a few lined up on the bond between eco-theology and humanism that I need to get around to editing and posting, but time has been shorter than usual as of late.

A good part of this is due to the fact that it looks as if Carolyn and I will be moving home-base from Albany down to NYC this summer. This will be a welcome step towards ending our bi-local routine over the past two years, consolidating our lives into a single apartment. This is exciting, but consuming lots of my time and spare thoughts (of which I have all too few in the first place!)

ends and odds

I’ve tweaked a few tweaks and found a few more ways for folks to connect to the few words that appear here from time to time:

1. If you’d like to receive posts via email, you can feed your address to a new little box in the sidebar (down at the bottom) and any new post will be delivered to your inbox within fifteen minutes (or it’s free!). Sorry no dipping sauce for the crusty bits.

2. If you are a facebookee, you can follow the blog via facebook and see new posts as news events within your regular feeds. Sign up here. While you are there, I’m apparently three people one person shy of being “confirmed” as the disreputable author of this blog (whatever that accomplishes). Most days I’m still fairly certain that I am indeed Eric Daryl Meyer, if you agree, there’s a button for you to express such opinions.

3. I’ve recently joined Twitter, you can find me there as: ericdaryl

While we’re at it, here are a few posts (of varying freshness) that I’ve recently found insightful, illuminating, or entertaining:

Brad flushes out more rats than he knows what to do with.

R.O. analyzes his lack of enthusiasm.

Craig parses some differences within Critical Animal Studies


The silence in this region of the ether lasted longer than I intended. The trip to California was wonderful for a whole host of reasons. Someone I know sums it up pretty well, “Good things happen when people in mountains meet, this is not done by jostling on the street.”

In addition, I’ve now begun the program at Fordham and I’m now in the slow process of adjusting to a heavy load of course-work, an Albany-Bronx weekly commute, periodic separation from Carolyn, and the rhythms of life within a new community. All of this likely means that posts will continue slowly around here for a while. But don’t give up just yet…

an intervening silence

Hello all.

I’ll be in California leading a wilderness trip until the 24th of August. The usual sluggish pace of posts will resume after that!

theology at Fordham U :: doctoral studies impending

I’ve been delaying this announcement on the blog for a variety of reasons (some of them might even be good reasons), but its time has arrived.

A few weeks ago (March 17th) I went to the mailbox outside our apartment, put my key in the slot, and turned it with a tiny prayer on my lips. This scene had been a daily routine for about three weeks by this point. From the end of February, every few days another small envelope with a school’s insignia in the return address would arrive, and all of them held only one sheet of paper. They were all succinct, all polite, and all of them informed me that I was among the carefully-considered, entirely-qualified, but finally excluded candidates.

Harvard, Princeton Seminary, Union Seminary, Columbia, Boston College, Princeton University, Yale—eight pages thick in all, and a stack of paper freighted with disappointment, fear, and self-loathing.

Fordham’s LibraryBut on March 17th, I opened the small door and found a big envelope inside. I sucked in a half mouthful of air and then held my breath as I turned the envelope around and saw “Fordham University” written on the outside. The package itself was thick, at least twenty pages. I thought to myself, “I know that Catholics are renowned for their guilt trips, but I don’t think that anyone one is cruel enough to send a thirty page rejection letter.”

As I walked back to the apartment, I whispered to myself in a squeaky little voice utterly unbecoming for someone of my size, “It’s a big one… it’s a big one…” Inside I found a letter offering me a place in the doctoral program of Fordham’s Department of Theology, and a teaching assistantship with a generous stipend to boot. It would be putting it mildly to say that I was thrilled. I walked (or maybe ran) over to the hospital where Carolyn was studying in order to share the news.

Fordham University ChurchFordham will be an excellent place for me to study for the next few years. Their theology department is very strong and the university is putting in a concerted effort to make it even stronger. The academic strengths of the department lie in Patristics, medieval theology, and systematics, so the school is very well-equipped to help me draw on the deep resources of the Christian tradition in order to articulate the faith in compelling and illuminating ways. Perhaps most importantly, I have visited the school twice now and both times come away struck with just how friendly, open, and welcoming everyone has been. I am absolutely certain that Fordham will provide a venue where I can study rigorously and prayerfully while conversing with people from a great range of perspectives. Cut-throat competition seems totally absent and the atmosphere of the department is warmer and more personable than anywhere else I’ve been on the East Coast. Add to all that the opportunity to live in the heart of the Bronx—it’s hard to say no!

To complicate matters slightly, in the last week I’ve been offered the opportunity to study in Syracuse University’s department of Religion as well. I have yet to visit Syracuse (which I hope to do next week), but my inclination at the moment is strongly toward Fordham, in large part because of the historical emphasis and sense of tradition in Fordham’s program in comparison to the strengths of Syracuse’s program in religion and contemporary culture.

Of course, I am grateful for the prayers and encouraging words over the last few months from many of the people who are reading this. 

ad radicem :: a new project

The church that Carolyn and I attend has asked me to start an outreach program for young professionals in the neighborhoods around the New York State capital. Rather than going door to door, I’m putting together a theology discussion/Bible study at a local Mexican food restaurant. For those people who are allergic to churches, discussing faith over cerveza and tacos should ease some of the negative ecclesial vibes they may feel. At any rate, I’ve started up another blog as a simple way of getting some information out over the internet for people whose curiosity is piqued by our fliers.

You are welcome to look it over and let me know what you think. Click here.  

And I’m back…

Well, I had a few very productive days in the library this week (which is rarer than I’d like…) and managed to get a first draft of the final chapter of the thesis done. This leaves me with a whole mess of editing work to do, but I’m feeling less pressure than I was at the beginning of the week. On that count, I’m going to lift my self-imposed blogging ban and offer a few things here and there.

I’ve wanted to share this for a while because it still makes me laugh. Our apartment here in Albany is quite old (by American, and certainly by Western American, standards). We are lucky enough to have original hardwood floors and brickwork—which is really nice. Over the last hundred and fifty years though, the building has settled, leaving the floors somewhat uneven. There is such a slant to the floor near my desk, that were it not for a bit of rope, I would soon roll back into the bathroom. So when, if ever, you think of me—remember the plight of a poor theologian tied to the couch in his apartment.Chair, rope, hill…

a brief hiatus :: knuckle-down, buckle-down…

The absence of new words here may be conspicuous in the weeks to come. The deadline for my thesis is approaching and I need to simplify (and unbalance) life for a bit in order to get it finished. I trust that anyone persistent enough to find meaning and value in the thoughts that appear here from time to time will also be patient enough to wait for words to reappear.

Carolyn and I had a wonderful time with both of our families over the Christmas holiday in Colorado, and got some much needed rest. Neither of us touched a bit of work, perhaps the first time in a few years where we really took that kind of break.

When I return to blogging, I aim to finish writing a few more posts on Joshua 7 and the story of Achan, offer my thoughts on a few books, (Moltmann’s God in Creation, Neiman’s Evil in Modern Thought, and MacIntyre’s After Virtue), and ramble generally about the things that come to mind in my day to day experience.

As we approach Epiphany, may the light of God in Jesus Christ shine on, and through, your life.

applications finished :: dude, where’s my car?!?

Well, over the course of the last four days, I’ve shipped out all 11 Ph.D. applications. The monkey is off of my back, and into the schools’ court, with all the balls, bells, and whistles I could send (untangle that metaphor!). We shall see what comes of this, but for the time being it’s wonderful to have one less thing to worry about. I’m going to spend the evening reading. I would have spent the afternoon in celebratory repose with a book but…

…the city of Albany kindly towed our truck this morning for failing to comply with “snow emergency” regulations. Cave-dwellers that we are, we never heard the announcement on TV or radio stations. Mountain people that we are, we never realized that snow constitutes an emergency in Albany. Sinister stuff, that snow, recklessly falling out of the sky all over everything.  So, bad money after good—$200 in towing and tickets to chase all those application fees… Ugh…   

good news :: first publication

This week I received an email with some good news. An essay I wrote last Spring at Regent on the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and his major philosophical influence John Duns Scotus will be published in 2008 by the journal The Hopkins Quarterly. This marks the first time my words will be in print larger (and more reputable) than the school newspaper.

Needless to say I am excited and honored.

driving tired

A place to go, in this dark
and a time, at the end of the highway
when I must
be there.
I combat silent and slow
the overcoming blankets
of sleep folding around my eyes.

Odd. Gravity’s physical force
loads such slumberous heaviness in sockets
yet is appeased by only one burnt offering
(wholly devoted as any flesh to flame)
hours of my consciousness,
given, altared, and set to blaze in leaps of dream.

If I withhold such time
to claim its control for my own ends,
my subtlety and daring to cheat
the tariff of bodily being–
that very consciousness dims
groans under the burden
of an offering kept in the fold,
until I consent, concede, or am conquered by
Darkness Beyond me.

If my life is sustained; held firm
on the knife’s edge of sanity
by lapses of control,
then by what white-knuckled illusions
do I haunt my own daylight?