Alissa Wilkinson

Alissa Wilkinson is assistant professor of English and humanities at The King's College in New York City, chief film critic at Christianity Today, and editor of QIdeas.org. Her work on pop culture, politics, art, and religion appears in publications including The Atlantic, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, Marginalia Review of Books, Relief, the Globe & Mail, WORLD, and Paste. In 2008, she founded The Curator and served as editor while on staff with International Arts Movement until 2010.

Bio last updated June 17th, 2021.

Alissa Wilkinson

Articles by Alissa Wilkinson

  • That Pesky Third Bit

    Because, maybe the budding writer is in fact destined to be a great writer, but there's a long stretch of preparation ahead, first Second: The other piece of the article that I quote in the post says that there's actually a third piece, something that Buechner leaves out—our skills ...

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  • Vocation Takes Patience

    In other words (and in some contradiction to the title of his blog post), it's not so much that we ought to "forget" our passion as that we ought to recognize that our vocation lies at the intersection of our passion, our skills, and the big problems that the world has ...

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  • Pick Up Your Brush

    Richter could hardly be accused of sticking to a single style (as opposed to, for instance, the work at the MoMA's retrospective of Dutch-born painter Willem de Kooning, which closes today, in which de Kooning largely sticks to the same abstract expressionist style even as it evolves and changes) ...

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  • Generous Love

    While most of us are profoundly selfish, scarcely inclined to extend generosity toward others, even the good ones—let alone the moderate effort of just assuming positive intent—God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ came, and died, for us.

    So let us remember this: while most of us are profoundly selfish, scarcely inclined to extend generosity toward others, even the good ones—let alone the moderate effort of just assuming positive intent—God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ came, and died, for us ...

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  • The Joyful One

    Why a pink candle for the third Sunday of Advent? Here's the beautiful reason.

    And so, we celebrate the third Sunday—the "joyful" Sunday—with a pink, celebratory candle I've come to believe that we can only experience joy—we can only smile, and celebrate—when we know that the good things are a gift from the one who sees the bad and still tells us, rest, delight, be joyful. ...

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  • Advent Peace

    I was thinking about peace, especially the idea of "peace time"—that is, the time when there are no violent conflicts in which we're directly engaged.

    Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, and a working political order that serves the true interests...

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  • Advent Hope

    We got troubles, as my grandpa might say. We have tribulations a-plenty. Just turn on the news. Just look at your Twitter feed. Just listen to yourself for a day.

    The four candles in the Advent wreath signify four things: hope, peace, love, and joy ...

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  • Longing and restraint

    It was only when I became an adult that I recognized that Christians around the world have celebrated Advent for centuries, even when Christmas was not the tinsely affair celebrated by the entire culture that it is today ...

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  • Not What We Expected

    And most religious homeschoolers of my generation would attest to how profoundly weird we felt whenever we were thrust into "that world," the world of our peers, whether in college or in a job or just when we went to church camp ...

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  • What We Love

    I met with a student and her mother interested in the college at which I teach this morning, and as I explained for them—as I have for a dozen others recently—why I teach here and why I think it's important, it struck me once again that it's not so much that I love the institution itself, but that m...

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  • Shaming Us Into It

    When that subway announcement comes on, if you're a healthy young person who hasn't given up his seat to the pregnant lady standing and clutching the rail, well, don't we look sheepish now? And the more we practice that, the more the shamed practice (of giving up a seat) becomes a habit (of courtesy...

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  • Against Squeezing

    It's especially strange to do it when you're also revisiting the practice of reading-for-a-grade, as I am now—my MFA program requires me to annotate ten books per quarter (just over a book a week), and I'm also reading books that I'm teaching from, so I'm spending all my time reading ...

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  • Free speech, taken for granted

    Alissa Wilkinson reflects on free speech.

    So, you might wonder, why was I thinking about Occupy Wall Street while I was watching this? It's not because I think either the American government or corporations represent a totalitarian state or an authoritarian regime (I certainly don't) ...

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  • Digging In

    I have a question, she said, that I wanted to ask when I was in class, but we ran out of time: What kind of person do you think actually does end up transforming culture? And, furthermore, what do people who make a difference in the world have in common? ...

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  • Left, Right, and Both

    And sometimes, especially when I'm celebrating how the church can lead and produce the best in culture, especially when I'm working in the arts, I think the "Christ above culture" model is the right one (and it reminds me why Catholics, who have often fit this typology, have been the most consistent...

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  • Fruitfulness

    What if we thought of revisions as fruitful, not productive? In other words, what if we thought of the writing process much closer to how we ought to think of the spiritual life: an "intensely inefficient" process that nonetheless bears fruit? Writing, she said, is a process of discovery, and since ...

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  • A Brief Chat with Mako Fujimura on The Tree of Life

    I am not discounting the great efforts of Tarkovsky, or a film like Magnolia, or what Into Great Silence has been able to do, by the way, but Malick's effort is a paradigm shift to me And there's a difference between the way we think of film when we see it as a noble effort to entertain, as opposed ...

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  • Letters to the Future

    And when Rauch outlines the rules he'll follow on his blog, since, as he puts it, "when in Rome," they sound an awful lot like the rules people often end up following when they write letters to friends: (1) No second drafts; (2) No reporting; (3) Factuality is approximate; and (4) Crabbiness is allo...

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