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No. 22


Editor's Note



Inside the Story
Kathleen Bowers
If the gospel stories tell us that faith can move mountains and heal disease, what then is possible for us? In this essay, the author takes a look at stories that require more than the usual suspension of disbelief, and finds that grappling with them may be the point after all.

The Arc of Repentance
Helen W. Mallon
In the wake of a near-affair, a married woman recognizes a long-standing pattern of finding her identity in other people and in her own obsessions. While turning back to God in brokenness brings peace, she realizes that lifelong repentance will bring a new identity.

Narrative Medicine
David Steensma
"An episode of sickness has all the essential elements of good narrative: an experience far outside of the ordinary, temporal evolution, character development, and plenty of dramatic tension. . . ," writes the author, a physician. But, he explains, a person's medical record and life story sometimes bear little resemblance to each other.


Hero's Journey: The Argument from Story
John Sexton
The author reviews the classic arguments given by philosophers for the existence of God and proposes another argument that apologists have overlooked: the argument from story. In doing so, he revisits Joseph Campbell's concept of the monomyth, or hero's journey, which is at the heart of the greatest stories ever told.

The Mars Hill Interview

The Promise of Pilgrimage
A Conversation with Paul Elie
J. Greg Phelan
Writer and editor Paul Elie discusses his new book, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, which is, in his words, a "group portrait" of the four great Catholic writers of the twentieth century: Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Flannery O'Connor, and Walker Percy. In this interview, Elie explains how studying the lives of these authors has in turn informed his own story and journey to faith.

Reminders of God

The Writing Life


Catherine and Pope Gregory
James W. Morgan

Evelyn Mattern


The Language for Light
Anne E. Campisi

The Prayer Book
Lucinda Franks

Particulate Matter
Laura A. Munson


In a Country Once Forested
Wendell Berry

Jenn Cavanaugh

Scott T. Summers

Geese, Tree, Apple, Leaves
Jeanne Murray Walker

Ann Horn

When the Battle is Done
Sherry Elmer

The Last Sparrow
Barry Ballard

Views and Reviews


The Sonic Quaalude of the "Me Decade":
Led Zeppelin's Mysterious Soul-Numbing Power in Concert
Dave Urbanski


Lonesome Melodies:
Conversations with Ralph Stanley
David W. Johnson


American IV, Johnny Cash
David W. Johnson



Book Against God, James Wood
J. Greg Phelan

Schopenhauer's Telescope, Gerard Donovan
Bill McGarvey

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach
Jody Onstad



Choosing the Matrix
Bruce Ellis Benson


The Hours
Ellen Haroutunian

The Editors

Mars Hill Contributors