Monday, February 06, 2006

Today's question: Blog Names

Bear with me through an elliptical introduction to our topic.

Last night I started reading The Courage for Truth, the collected letters of American Trappist monk Thomas Merton to a range of 20th century authors. In a series of letters to French Catholic philospher Jacques Maritain composed in 1960, he describes the opposition of his Trappist order to his correspondence and collaboration with Japanese Zen monk and author D.T. Suzkuki:
...this little Zen man [D. T.] Suzuki. Together we have tried to write about the Desert Fathers, he from his view point and I from mine, and now I am in the soup with our consors of the Order for communicating with pagans and unbelievers!
[February 22, 1960]

...Last year, having translated a part of the Verba Seniorum (sc. Deserti), I wrote to Suzuki, a Buddhist, to ask him for a short essay on the FAthers who, in many ways, resemble Zen master. He was kind enough to write a very interesting essay on Paradize, on the contemplative life as a resturn to Paradise, on innocence and the "emptiness" of the wisdom of Paradise in contrast to the complications and illusions of the human sicence which is at once superficial and "dualist." Of course, it's Zen but it sounds a great deal like St. Augustine and St. Bernard. It was not exactly something that an unprepared reader could easily understand. Therefore I also wrote an essay containing many quotations from ST. Augustine, etc. We wanted to publish both essays with the translations of the [Dessert] Fathers. ...Then the censors of the Order intervened to prohibit this communicatio cum infideli [communication with an infidel].
[April 8, 1960]
Now on one hand it struck me how much progress we have made in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue since 1960--and, how we, and particularly people of my generation and younger who were born into the fruits of this progress, take our current state of social progress for granted, failing to realize just how recent many advancements and milestones are.

On another hand (I'm feeling very handy today; no telling how many hands may wind up in this post), and on a more secular if not blasphemous note, I thought to myself: "communicatio cum infideli" would make a helluva name for a blog. Wouldn't it? I mean, isn't that the polar opposite of "preaching to the choir?"

All of which brings us through a grand circumlocution to the topic at hand: names of blogs.

I am very interested in how you picked the name for your own blog. Where does it come from and what does it mean?

Also, would you like to change your blog's name? If you were to change it, what name would you pick, and why would you pick a different name?

And finally, what do you consider to be great blog names? (And why.) That is, not the names of your favourite blogs, but names of blogs that you consider to be great names.

And, once again, I'm very interested to hear your answers.

While I've been away, I've had a lot of time to think about how we blog, about meta-blogging issues. So, while I promise to "actually write stuff" as well, I expect I'll also have all kinds of questions for you about how you do your own blogging.

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