compline/ peace hour/ rest hour/ song of steps/ initium noctis

Coffee Hour with Friends has been a very lightly facilitated, gently theological online space, initiated 26 March 2020, with the encouragement of Glenn Jordan. Now that it takes place on Sunday evenings, it doesn’t feel quite right to call it Coffee Hour. So thinking about calling it something like Compline or Rest Hour (from Wikipedia: “The Rest Hour (Armenian: Հանգստեան Ժամ hangstean zham) is celebrated after the Peace Hour, and is the last of the offices of the day. It may be considered communal worship before sleep. It bears some resemblance in content to compline in the Roman Rite”). This brings back some fond memories of stumbling into a Sunday evening Compline service in New Haven when I was an undergrad.

8:30-9:30pm, Irish Time. The link, for now, is The password changes weekly. This week it is RichardKearney.

This week I am thinking a lot about the healing power of religious practices that are themselves healed of unhealthy institutional power dynamics. There’s much to resist in Richard Kearney’s and Alina Feld’s conversation (for me: especially a certain kind of intellectual swagger and normative positioning within the Western philosophical canon, even while alluding to non-Western sources), and there is also so much good food for thought, especially re: Jesus wasn’t about the church; and also “the eyes of the heart,” religion and art, pots and pans… It’s not necessary to read this excerpt, much less the whole text, to join. But I am interested in practices/ encounters that have been genuinely healing for you, if they were recognizably religious, or not at all, and what they might say to you about your religious formation, regardless.

I do not know Feld’s work; Richard Kearney is a US-based Irish philosopher whose work informs my research and writing. The whole interview is here.

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