Ethan Starr

 

Culture Editor

  

After studying for years as an Art History Major, Ethan would like to think that he is decently cultured, which might be why he was tasked with serving as editor for the Culture section. When not practicing covert, undercover reporting on shady organizations around campus, his articles can usually be expected to annually reminisce on his favorite childhood television programs.

Wed

01

May

2019

Crucifixes of Boston College

by Ethan Starr

 

Rarely does a day pass for a Boston College student where he or she does not see a crucifix around campus—whether in one of the chapels, some of the dining halls, or most of the classrooms. The symbol of Christ’s suffering is largely ubiquitous around campus today, perhaps to a degree that they remain unnoticed by many students. However, as important symbols of the university’s Catholic identity, their substantial presence on campus is worth considering.

 

Conversation surrounding the campus crucifixes reached a peak a decade ago during the 2008-2009 school year, when, over winter break, crucifixes were placed in almost all classrooms in North and South Stokes Halls, as well as in some of the other buildings. The episode drew intense attention from both students and faculty upon the resumption of the school year, with several outspoken professors complaining of the measure’s “insensitivity.” Others complained about a lack of campus-wide notification preceding the installation of the crosses. These few disgruntled professors attracted widespread media attention, as their quotes appeared in the Boston Globe and Herald, in Catholic media outlets across the country, and in publications as distant as the St. Louis Dispatch.

 

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Praying with Boston College: Stations of the Cross

by Ethan Starr

 

Adorning the walls of nearly every Catholic church in America are 14 representations of Jesus along the Way of the Cross. Varying in their proportions and modes of depiction, hidden behind pilasters or above a person’s eye level, they are easily forgotten during much of the liturgical year. The Stations of the Cross were originally designed as a method of retracing the last moments of Jesus before and during His crucifixion—this was done in place of actually travelling along Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa. Today, praying the Stations endures as a popular practice during Lent. Boston College is home to a few different sets of Ways of the Cross around campus, and the Lenten season provides opportunities to pray with them in community.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

Religiosity of Starbucks Holiday Cups

Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs for 2018 | Starbucks
Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs for 2018 | Starbucks

by Ethan Starr

 

The American holiday season maintains a certain number of constant features throughout our nation’s annual staging of its dueling secular and religious interpretations of winter holidays. Each of these respective celebratory methods would be rendered unrecognizable without their trademarks, including recognizable inclusions of daily life in the winter season, from nativity scenes to inflatable reindeer, attending a parish’s midnight mass to visiting the local mall Santa. 

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

A Closer Look at the Stained Glass of Bapst Library

 by Ethan Starr

  

Guided tours across Boston College’s campus have several consistent destinations; Stokes, Gasson, and Fulton are all featured proudly as enduring symbols of the continual development of BC’s campus and the Collegiate Gothic style they claim to emulate. No buildings of overtly religious function are highlighted to prospective students, but one cannot help but be reminded of the school’s Catholic foundations when circling through Bapst Library.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

The Theology of the Great Pumpkin

Image: ABC
Image: ABC

by Ethan Starr

 

While many might not immediately realize a Christian component to the Peanuts series (featuring Charlie Brown, Lucy, and friends), religious themes can be found in unexpected places when watching their 1960’s television specials. Though Charles Schulz is well-recognized as the pioneer of common American phrases like “Good grief,” the Christian themes of the some of his creations have gone largely unnoticed.  

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Thu

03

May

2018

Considering the Pope's Proposal on the Lord's Prayer

by Ethan Starr

 

“And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Catholics, along with most other Christian denominations, still utter these words, the very phrases Jesus instructed his Apostles to emulate, in what Christians have since referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. This past December, Pope Francis expressed support for an adjustment to the translation of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically advocating for the insertion of “Do not let us fall into temptation.” The Pope went on to reason that God does not lead people into temptation, stating “A father doesn’t do that.” 

 

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Wed

28

Mar

2018

Tridentine Latin Mass Returns to Campus

by Ethan Starr

 

After several years of absence from the on-campus Mass schedule, the Tridentine Latin Mass returned to Boston College at the beginning of Lent. Students can now attend Masses celebrated in ecclesiastical Latin on Fridays at noon in St. Joseph’s Chapel.

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Tue

27

Feb

2018

Pro-Life: The Death Penalty

By: Ethan Starr

 

Over 2,800 Americans find themselves on death’s doorstep. They have not been overcome by powerful maladies, diminished by degenerative disease, or transferred to a hospice home to experience their last days. In only the first two months of 2018, U.S.’s self-inflicted plague has already counted three casualties from the cells of death row.

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Wed

31

Jan

2018

Fringe Sect Proselytizes on Campus

by Ethan Starr

 

In the past few days, Boston College students have been approached by college-aged individuals asking if they would be willing to take part in a Bible study with them, with some students agreeing to do so. Those who accepted were introduced to the core beliefs of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG).

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Sun

17

Dec

2017

Christological Themes in Frosty the Snowman

by Ethan Starr

 

Most of us cannot help but enter into a festive spirit when we hear Christmas music over the radio and see weekly rounds of Christmas specials on television. Christians in modern America may often, and justifiably, decry the secularization of the Christmas season, as St. Nicholas gives way to the red-clad, sleigh-riding Santa of popular culture, and biblical Christmas stories are supplanted by stories of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. Remembrance of the true spirit of Christmas should remain an important objective in our modern observation of the Christmas holiday, but there are some questions we should consider: Is the celebration of our secular holiday, characterized by Rudolph and Frosty, mutually incompatible with recognition of the birth of Jesus? Or, perhaps, do the Christmas specials actually reflect and educate children on the Christological meaning of Christmas? What could we possibly learn about Jesus from Frosty the Snowman?

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Wed

29

Nov

2017

Christian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts

by Ethan Starr

 

If you have ever visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), you may have gotten lost within the three-floored, five-winged building. Maybe you have been unable to find that one painting you were looking for among the 450,000 artworks held within the Museum. Or perhaps, after wandering through the contemplative Japanese garden, Tenshin-en, you never even made it inside the building. Individuals searching for Christian art throughout the museum have likely experienced significant confusion while trying to find religious art that resonates with them. I have compiled a list of five “must-sees” for Christian art enthusiasts visiting the museum. These works draw from a number of genres and time periods, but comprise only a small percentage of the great collection of religious art that the MFA has to offer.

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

Magnum Principium and the New Liturgical Translation

 

by Ethan Starr

 

In response to the Second Vatican Convention’s goal of increased utilization of vernacular languages in the liturgy, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) released its first English translation of the Roman Missal in 1973. In keeping with Vatican instruction of the time, the inexact translation sought a “dynamic equivalence” to the original Latin, attempting to adhere to the spirit of the Latin texts without a concern for absolute literality. In its intention of avoiding the sometimes unwieldy, technical language of a literal translation, the ICEL did not always win the approval Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome’s regulatory arm concerning liturgical translations. The Congregation’s rejection of a revised 1998 translation by the ICEL sent the clear message to the loose translations that the Congregation was not partial to dynamic equivalence. In 2002, The Congregation for Divine Worship released the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, which mandated that "the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner” to the original Missal. The most recent English translation of the Roman Missal, in accordance with the rigidity of the “formal equivalence” method ordered by Liturgiam Authenticam, was approved by the Holy See in 2010 and adopted by most English-speaking countries by the end of 2011.

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Tue

26

Sep

2017

University, Church Condemn DACA Decision

by Ethan Starr

 

The Trump administration’s decision early this month to end the DACA program has faced widespread criticism from University administration, as well as the broader Catholic community. Announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the planned rollback of protections from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program endangers the immigration status of around 690,000 residents, some 240,000 of whom are currently enrolled in college. The program, signed as an executive order by President Obama in 2012, aims to secure work permits and education for young adults who came to the nation as children without documents.

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