Our full September 11 issue is up on the site. Among the highlights:
Luke Timothy Johnson reflects on the joy and insight gained by reading and rereading Thomas Merton, especially the man's journals.
The journals suggest that the most famous monk of the twentieth century was not really a monk, in this most basic sense: at the heart of the monastic life is the refusal to see oneself as an exception or as exceptional; obedience to the rule and the abbot do not apply only to others, they apply above all to oneself. But such a sense of being special everywhere pervades Merton’s journals.
Read all of "The Myth, the Monk, the Man"—in honor of the centenary of his birth—here.
Gregory Orfalea digs into the current debate on whether Franciscan priest Junípero Serra, the "founder of California," should be considered a saint, a colonizer, or both:
What is happening now, one hopes, is the complementary emergence of an ethic of apology in the church over the sins of colonialism and of Indian representatives who are willing to take another look at the complexity of the encounter between the Franciscans and native peoples. This gradual convergence, demonstrating good faith on both sides of the issue, has been underway for some time.
Read all of "Hungry for Souls"—in time for his canonization September 23— here.
And among the film and book reviews:
Richard Alleva reviews Woody Allen's Irrational Man, saying the film is "too much like a machine, its characters more like well-oiled gears than human beings." Challenging the typical American idea of Camus's The Stranger, Kamel Daoud's novel (reviewed by David Michael) asks: Did Camus intend to use the Algerian murder victim as anything more than a nameless prop? And Matthew Sitman reviews a recent biography of Richard John Neuhaus by Randy Boyagoda, who approaches his task with "admiration and sympathy for Neuhaus while never slipping into outright hagiography. Still," Sitman admits, "I couldn’t shake the feeling that Boyagoda occasionally treated his subject too gently."
And there's more; see the full table of contents for the September 11 issue here.