Two Cheers for ‘Weird Christianity’
Earlier this month, Tara Isabella Burton published a fascinating—and very familiar—essay in the New York Times called “Christianity Gets Weird.” She described a small but lively movement of mainly young Christians who are rediscovering the ancient church. They’re doing things that may just seem a little strange. Here’s Burton:
More and more young Christians, disillusioned by the political binaries, economic uncertainties and spiritual emptiness that have come to define modern America, are finding solace in a decidedly anti-modern vision of faith. As the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns throw the failures of the current social order into stark relief, old forms of religiosity offer a glimpse of the transcendent beyond the present.
Weird Christianity is equal parts traditionalism and, well, punk: Christianity as transgressive alternative to contemporary secular capitalist culture. Like punk, Weird Christianity has its own, clearly defined aesthetic. Many Weird Christians across the denominational and political spectrum express fondness for older, more liturgically elaborate practices — like the Episcopal Rite I, a form of worship that draws on Elizabethan-era language, say, or the Latin Mass, or the wearing of veils to church.