What I’m Reading This Week

I haven’t had too much of a time to read during this past week. There’s been a lot of stress resulting from things beyond my control, figuring out logistics with my parents in case my mom comes to hang out with us if my Dad does end up needing a surgery; and more. I’ve been resorting to stress cleaning; mainly decluttering as a way of dealing with everything (which is good, as St. Nicholas Day and Christmas are right around the corner).

I’ve been reading A Song for Nagasaki in my post-cleaning times, though. I’m about a quarter of the way through it, and it’s a beautiful book. The writing is evocative and I’ve discovered that I don’t know much about Asian history (both secular and Catholic). I’m finding Takashi Nagai’s journey of Shinto to atheist in college to Catholic rather similar to what I went through in college (minus the Shintoism starting point) but definitely the whole “one doesn’t need God” vibe that I heard echoed throughout most of my courses (which intensified after my conversion).

One part that made me think is that Nagai mentions that he boarded with a Catholic family in college and I’m guessing that family played a huge role in his conversion. If someone were to board with my family, what kind of an impression would they receive? It’s a very interesting thing to think about, and it has provided some great ponderings when I am doing my stress cleaning.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the book, especially if more details are shed about the family that Nagai stayed with. The book has already discussed a lot about how Pascal’s Pensées influenced Nagai. I would like to put this book in at the highschool level for history/religious studies; I’d put it in earlier except there’s a rather gruesome part describing the crucifixion of Japanese Christians that would really disturb my kids if they read it in the next few years. I’ll make my final determination about if it will be included and what year once I’ve finished it.

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