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Priestly goth is a space for the exploration and working out of being a Christian who is in the World but not of the world.  This exploration is a bit eclectic, like the goth aesthetic itself.

Here are reflections on the Church, the Spiritual life and the gothic subculture as a Christian who identifies as a goth.  Since I am a pastor and spiritual director I wanted to create a space to explore and struggle with issues of church and pastoral care in an age of post-Christendom. 

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Here are also found portfolios of my iconographic work.

I invite the reader to explore with me the world of the priestly goth.

Lenten Reflections

In the past here at Priestly Goth, I’ve taken Lent to offer up my reflections on this time of fasting, penitence and Self-Reflection.  This Lent my writing is focused on worship liturgy and tradition (continuing reflections begun here and here) , and human sexuality .   However, I thought as we conclude the first full week […]

Phil Kline, Gungor, the Liturgists, and the Revelator

Gungor and the Liturgists at first glance speak my language.  When I read the Liturgists manifesto I feel my self saying right on.  Gungor’s and the Liturgists’ talk about liturgy and beauty I get and love .  My problem – Gungor’s music never really spoke to me (a song here and there I may like […]

A Nice Indian Boy: A Rich and Savory Play

Rasaka Theatre’s current production is the Midwest premier of Madhuri Shekar’s A Nice Indian Boy, Running through March 8 at Victory Gardens..  Full disclosure my wife Kate Setzer Kamphausen is the Costume Designer for the production A Nice Indian Boy is a poignant family comedy that explore the meaning of love marriage, gender, ethnicity and […]

Cultural Identity and Expression in Worship

My Covenant Colleague Josef Rasheed‘s recent post about worship and cultural identity beautifully and gracefully articulates the role cultural expression plays in worship as well as its dynamic complexity.  However, I am aware a white pastor saying some of the same things would come off very differently (this isn’t a complaint, there are very legitimate reasons […]

David Bowie Is(n’t) Original

At the top of the David Bowie Is exhibition the Yohji Yamomoto black record body suit presents the wild spectacle of David Bowie.  Then one moves to spend time in David Bowie’s early years, or really , the time before “David  Bowie”.  Here I got a sense of him as creative reclusive person, who through mime discovers his […]

Gothic Sonic Identity: Revelations from 12 albums meme

Editorial note: In 2012 I wrote a post about “gothic sonic identity”, coming out of  conversation with Tripp Hudgins around his Ph.D. work in Music and Liturgy.  I had intended to write a whole series  of posts along these lines.  They never came about.  Here I might be resurrecting this thread we’ll see if any […]

Suffering and Joy on the Dance Floor: or Dancing to Joy Division

My friend Tripp recently published a brief musing on suffering and death: it’s kind of goth. I’ve sat with the musing.  Part of what he’s wrestling with are the ways many Christians often make suffering trite by attempting to make God responsible for it ( in some way) or at least responsible for making it meaningful. […]

“Going to Church” and the Church as Body of Christ.

I mentioned in my reflection on intimacy and public worship that I had some more ecclesiological thoughts in response to Donald Miller.  Instead of putting Donald Miller’s ecclesiology to the question,  I will simply explore how we are talking about church attendance and how we may approach that from asking questions of what sort of thing we are […]

The place of intimacy with God in life and worship

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz  has recently made a stir admitting he rarely attends church and when he does he doesn’t really get much out of it. Miller says he can worship God in other ways, and other means of intimacy with God suit him better than the corporate worship of a local […]

Georges Florovsky, Ecumenism, and Writing Icons.

I was introduced to the work of Georges Florovsky in seminary.  I was discussing Eastern Orthodoxy with my History professor Phil Anderson.  Something in what I said clued him into that I was missing something about Orthodoxy and its history.  He asked if I had read (knowing I hadn’t) Georges Florovsky. I immediately found his […]

Dissatisfaction and Longing : Gothic sonic identity part 1

This is a post in the series on my “sonic identity”  a project of reflecting on music and identity following on the path of the Anglobaptist who is exploring such things as part of his Ph.D in Liturgy and Music.  There were a number of posts around this topic earlier this year at Anglobaptist.org one can be found […]

The Circus Is Eternal: Fashion Liturgy

Kate Setzer Kamphausen’s  fashion Show “The Circus is Eternal” Friday night (March 2) at Nocturna was a great time.  Kate’s garments looked amazing on each of the models (who weren’t professional models, but various people for the goth scene).   The preparation was a little halting as neither Kate nor I had produced a fashion show before.  Things […]

Eros, Goth, God, and Desire – Intro

Tripp the Anglobaptist is pushing me in good ways. He is pushing me to consider what is the relationship between my sonic urban sub cultural identity and my sonic theological and religious identity. Well he isn’t doing it directly necessarily, but in talking to him about his course work in Liturgy and Music and in […]

In Defense of J. K. A. Smith, Praise Bands, and Critique – pt. 2

Part 1 is found here Do praise bands have to be loud and the center of a worship service?  If the band simply, with no frills, leads singing in a congregation does it cease to be a praise band? I am puzzled that  James Smith’s  critique (“encouragement to think about the what of worship”) was taken as […]

In Defense of J. K. A. Smith, Praise Bands, and Critique- pt. 1

Over at Fors Clavigera, James K. A. Smith‘s “Open Letter to Praise Bands” has caused a bit of a stir I think.  At least it has among the group of  Evangelical Covenant worship leader, worship pastors, and pastors (who like me plan worship each Sunday).   The stir relates to another conversation that has been […]

Rise of the Nation State, subcultures, Goth, and David Bowie

This is the second post in a trilogy of posts. The first in this series can be found here over at Priestly Goth Blog.  The third post will post in Ecclesial Longings here. Recently I saw the Man Who Cried.  It is a melancholy movie to say the least.  Though what captured my imagination in […]

Where is the Church in the labels and identities of Emerging Church and American Christianities

It has been a little over a week since,Thanks to Emerging Pensees, I came across this guest post by “Brandon Morgan”*, over at  Roger E. Olson’s blog.  Tony Jones had his reply, and then reflects on the labels evangelical liberal and progressive. And Austin Roberts at Imago*futura calls it  an identity crisis, and then gives an  account […]