Time for a Sabbatical… 2022 version!

This summer I’ve been taking some time out (a month of vacation) to rehab a brand-new knee and decompress from several deeply challenging years of parish ministry in the time of pandemic. And now, I’m getting ready to head back to Italy for a six-week stay, beginning September 16. Yes, there will be sumptuous food. Yes, there will be fabulous wine. And there will also be some exploration of paleochristian sites and imagery. I’m also planning to look at some later Christian art and to introduce a paradigm for considering what it might say to 21st-century Christians. (Stay tuned!)

In the meantime, here is a peek at where I’ll be traveling. The first stop (after a day of jet-lag recovery on Lake Como), is Verona, so stay tuned to see what I turn up.

Of course, I’ll also be looking at the ways the Roman Empire (then) and the American Empire (now) exchange in dialogue with Christianity. The acknowledgement of American Christian Nationalism provides a clearer lens to observe ways that church and state relate to one another.

One of the places I’m most looking forward to visiting is Aquileia (at the top of the Adriatic), which was one of the largest cities in the Empire and a major paleochristian site. It has the dubious distinction of being the first city on the Italian peninsula to have been attacked by Attila the Hun in 452 AD.

A question that I begin with is what Christianity then can say to us, as Christians, now. I’ll be searching for meanings and sharing them with you as I unearth and consider them.

Basilica in Aquileia, attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=607926