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Since I moved to California, almost all ideas I have tried to explain in the long form have been essays, and those mostly for classes. There are a few of these that I think are still interesting, and which I sometimes return to. They are helpful, I think, in clearing up some of the things I say in my casual speech, as much of this speech references these ideas and experiences.


Navigate to articles to see what I wrote for Bilkent News, when I was still living in Ankara.

The Dead Priest in Ireland (October 2022)

About a story by James Joyce called The Dead, from Dubliners. I argue that Father Flynn turns sick and mad because he is a fraudulent priest; unable to die to his own desires, in imitation of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, he is denied that share of divinity which would enable and authorize him to perform the miracle of transubstantiation, and to hear confession. Only in death does he "join the many haunting, nameless priests which line the walls and minds of Ireland," and so "by the force of culture is achieved theological satisfaction: in the way that image, his memory, and the invocation of his name is enough to plant him in the mind, the priest in death becomes a true religious object."


Written for History 207B: The Irish and the World, taught by Robert Crews and JP Daughton.

Reception of Divine Light in Christ’s Transfiguration (June 2022)

About the mosaic of the Transfiguration at Daphni, an eleventh-century monastery near Athens. Moving from this specific example, I interpret why the three men arrayed below Christ's exalted form react so differently to God's light and voice, and what this says about the relationship between fear, faith and mediating love.




Written for Art History 208A: Abject Subjects and Divine Anamorphosis in Byzantine Art, taught by Bissera Pentcheva.



Visible and Invisible Wounds in Christian Mystical Experience (March 2022)

Treats the questions: "What is the significance of this explicit presentation of the wound, and of the wound itself as a concept in Christianity? How do visible and invisible wounds feature in Christian mystical experience, and how are they defined and distinguished? And how does the wound-cult relate to Christian concepts of humanity and divinity?"


Written for History 318: Saints and Spiritual Power in Medieval Europe, taught by Fiona Griffiths.


On the Showings of Julian of Norwich (February 2022)

I argue that Julian, in the short text of her sequence of sixteen visions, communicates the following:

"We are shown that there is sin that divides us from the good and the bliss of God. And yet man should sin, for it is his honor to be redeemed, and this comes by an awareness that brings him white, hot, redeeming pain, white and hot like the light on Julian’s cross. Of this she wishes more, that she might see Christ’s Passion more clearly, for she loves him as he loves her. And that love keeps the soul penitent, until its pain and longing grow so large that sin is made nothing. Any sin can be made nothing if even the greatest sin, the original sin, could be shone out of existence by the pain and thirst of Christ, whose thirst is his love for us. And we thirst in reciprocity, in compassion, that we may know him completely, and suffer out the sins of our lives, that we may be fit to be joined with him."


Written for History 318: Saints and Spiritual Power in Medieval Europe, taught by Fiona Griffiths.

Female Sexual Agency in the Poetry of Walther von der Vogelweide (April 2020)

This work won the 2020 German Club of Stanford Essay Award. In it, I conclude that "the only refuge of sexual love is minnesang itself: the singer, free from censure or constraint, can refer to a choice that belongs to no one by name. Thus he reveals what on its own would silently corrode."

Written for German 265: Middle High German, taught by Bjoern Klaus Buschbeck.

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