Hey Dish readers – I’m Matt, the Dish’s literary editor and, this week, guest-blogger. Most of my work usually appears on the weekends, especially Sundays, so I tend to be responsible for the posts about religion that readers seem to either love or hate, and my deepest interests lean much more toward theology, poetry, and literature than politics. That means writing more about politics over the next few days will be a bit of an adventure for me. Usually I find politics, and the way we argue about politics, terribly depressing, which provides a lovely excuse to retreat into old books. I hope this lack of immersion in punditry gives me a fresh perspective on the events of the day while guest-blogging, but I suspect Dish readers will let me know if it doesn’t.
Prior to joining the Dish team two years ago, I was a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University studying political theory, but I never finished my doctorate, making me something of an academic refugee. My research interests mainly concerned the relationship between political thought and theology, with a particular focus on the Reformation. I won’t bore you with too much more about that, but the questions that led me to that topic still are what I think about the most. Above all, I’m fascinated by religion’s place in the modern world, and I’m drawn to writers who examine that subject with verve and creativity. To that end, I have an essay, coming out very soon in Deep Dish, on the poet Christian Wiman that explores his approach to Christianity.
I grew up in a small town in rural central Pennsylvania, and neither of my parents and none of my grandparents went to college. This means that I always remind myself what a privilege it is to spend my days reading and writing and thinking about books. I hope my enthusiasm and gratitude for getting to do so is apparent during my week of guest-blogging.