Karen E. Park

Karen E. Park is a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. Her interests include American religious history and sacred space.

Posts By This Author

What We Think About Guns Reveals What We Think About God

by Karen E. Park 07-21-2016
Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1.

Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1. txking / Shutterstock.com

Gun violence has become so ubiquitous in the U.S. that it is changing the very way we talk about our country. The names of our cities and towns have become shorthand terms for gun death: Orlando, Newtown, Dallas, Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Columbine, Aurora.

God Occupies a Baby Crib

by Karen E. Park 12-05-2012
Photo: Depiction of a baby Jesus, © R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com

Photo: Depiction of a baby Jesus, © R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com

There is a line from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem about the Virgin Mary that describes the baby Jesus as “God’s infinity, dwindled to infancy.” The line captures perfectly the beautiful but also shocking idea, central to Christianity, that the infinite God who created the universe also chose to descend, dwindle, become small, become helpless, become dependent on human beings.

Hopkins is right: the baby Jesus is not merely a sentimental or cute idea but is potentially radical, transformative, and controversial.

 

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