Jeff Sharlet Spotted in Church

Jeff Sharlet at St. Paul's Chapel.

It’s a fuzzy recon picture, but our skilled analysts have just been able to make out the figure in the shadows: it’s Jeff Sharlet, no less than the co-founding editor of this “religion magazine for people made anxious by churches.” If he was anxious, though, he didn’t sound it.

Jeff was at historic St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan, taking part in a release event for the new Religion issue of Lapham’s Quarterly. The occasion had him reading a passage written by St. Jerome in 384:

I will say it boldly: though God can do all things, he cannot raise a virgin up after she has fallen. He is able to free one who has been corrupted from the penalty of her sin, but he refuses her the crown. Let us be fearful lest in our case also the prophecy “Good virgins shall faint” be fulfilled. Note that it is of good virgins he speaks, for there are bad ones as well. The scripture says, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Virginity therefore can be lost even by a thought. Those are the evil virgins, virgins in the flesh but not in the spirit—foolish virgins, who, having no oil in their lamps, are shut out by the Bridegroom.

And so on.

Anyway, was all just a warm up—though a very enjoyable one, with the finest of New York literati—for what’s to come. On January 28th, we’ll be cheering on the new Lapham’s issue together with Reverend Billy and Lewis Lapham at BookCourt in Brooklyn at 7pm. Don’t miss it, for all the virginity in the world.