"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

Dying Jesus . . . Dying Churches?

The flogging of Jesus Christ, and crucifixion,  a painting at the Melk Abbey, Austria. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Just one of the many images of the dead and dying Jesus that I saw in Europe last month. Here, the crown of thorns and the mocking of Christ, a detail from the sixteenth-century Joerg Breu altar at Melk Abbey, Austria. Photo by Barbara Newhall

This stone imae of the crucifixion, of Jesus on the cross is on the outside of the University of Bamberg auditorium. Aula. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Stone image of the dying Jesus on the outside wall of the University of Bamberg auditorium. Even today, crucifixes are a common sight in public buildings in Austria and Bavaria. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Churches were at the top of my list of photo subjects as Jon and I set out last month for a three-week river trip across Europe. Stained glass windows, paintings, mosaics, murals — I knew those old buildings would be stuffed to their soaring arches with wonderful old art objects. And I planned to capture as much of that medieval and renaissance beauty as I could.

I saw a lot of Jesuses in those old European churches. But, sad to say, in church after church, Jesus was almost always . . . dying. Or dead. Or staggering under the weight of a cross.

True, there were plenty of images of the Baby Jesus: unblemished and adorable, but often (it seemed to me) no more than a stage prop to highlight the sanctity of Mary, [Read more…]

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Atticus Finch — Meet Mother Emanuel

My copy of "Go Set a Watchman" on the counter of my local bookstore. Atticus Finch  story. Photo by Barbara Newhall

My copy of “Go Set a Watchman” on the counter of my local bookstore today. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I haven’t even cracked open my brand-new copy of Go Set a Watchman. But already I’ve got opinions.

For months now, I’ve been looking forward to taking a look at the long-lost book that was the original version of Harper Lee’s famous, much-loved, much-read [Read more…]

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Cheap Thrills at the Glasmuseum Passau — Outrageous, Over-the-Top Decorative Glass.

Rich, meticulous design from Josephine Glassworks, Silesia, circa 1898-1905. Photo by Barbara Newhal

Rich, meticulous design from Josephine Glassworks, Silesia, circa 1898-1905. Jugendstil-Art Nouveau. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Spotted at the labyrinthine Glasmuseum Passau — wonderfully outrageous, phantasmagoric decorative glass. Gotta share it with you. Take a look. Cheap thrills.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m definitely indulging in a bit of smug irony here. The folks [Read more…]

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I’m a Studs Terkel Wannabe — He Captured American Voices

Studs Terkel, photo by Nina Subin

Studs Terkel. Photo by Nina Subin

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I’m a big fan of Studs Terkel. I love his books Working, The Good War and Hard Times. I admire the way Terkel captured voices, the individual, distinctive voices of Americans at work, at war, and in the throes of the Great
Depression.

Studs let people talk and tell their stories. Every voice was different. The way Studs did it, it felt like you were sitting in a room with that World War II sailor or that guy who lost his business in the Great Depression.

Imitating Studs Terkel

It was with Studs in mind that, [Read more…]

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Retired Is a State of Mind — Six Ways to Know If You’re There Yet

How to know when you're retired. You're on a  trail alongside Bon Tempe Lake in Marin county, California. Photo by Barbara Newhall

On the trail around Bon Tempe Lake: That barely visible orange speck at the upper right is my hiking buddy. No doubt  I wasted some time taking photos, and she got way ahead of me. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Retired is a state of mind. Not a state of paycheck, or work schedule, or commute, or how much time you spend at the office.

I work full time. Forty hours a week, these days. Sixty maybe. But some time ago, I realized [Read more…]

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