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sjames_centre has written a lovely story about the aftermath of John Waton's wartime service, particularly the trauma of it all. It's written loosely around the pool scene at the end of The Great Game, where the smell of Semtex triggers a memory of a really ugly moment in John's war service, with all those of you familiar with trauma and PTSD in particular would expect. And Sherlock tries to help.

Sherlock actually does a remarkably good job of helping in my opinion, particularly for someone as emotionally immature as he seems to be. There is no talk of feelings, or at least not in the psychotherapy sense, but there is talk of reality, and the way nightmares and trauma skews our perception of it. I found both men's characterizations (and Mrs. Hudson's as well) to be delightful, with humor and empathy undercutting their reaction to what's going on. The resolution felt convincing to me, both in the "baby steps" sense and in getting the emotional pathos I think we all want in fanfic. For a mere 4,500 words, that's quite a lot to accomplish, and Susan does it well.

Do be aware, there's some discussion of a pretty disturbing moment from John's service. It's not at all graphic, but that doesn't mean it isn't upsetting. Which is just as it should be, really.

"Lashkar Gah," by Susan (AO3)


On another note, I finally wrote up my reaction to somethin going on in the religion-blogosphere. Ninety-second version: there's a new biography out on Dietrich Bonhoeffer making the case he was romantically attracted to his (male) friend. The interesting bit is that the author was concerned how evangelicals would react to this, and that for the most part there hasn't been much of a controversy. So I talked a bit about whether this was surprising or not, whether we should expect more upset over this idea. Spoilers: even though no one's claiming Bonhoeffer actually had sex with another man, I still find it a bit surprising there isn't more concern; and the lack of concern, the way it's put, is still a bit not-good.)

Check it out if that sounds like your thing. Comments welcome there or here.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (probably) fancied men. Should evangelicals be (more) bothered?


Jul. 24th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading Susan's story. I'm glad to spread the love there.

As for the Bonhoeffer piece, I appreciate you reading it and letting me know what you think. But as we're "new" I also wanted you to know: you don't actually have to if a certain topic doesn't interest you. I try to keep fannish stuff here at LJ and post my more "thinky-thoughts" stuff over at fidesquaerens.org and just throw up a link here for folks who are interested. I have a rather particular background and it's good for me to write about these things but I get that not everyone is interested in reading about those things, so don't feel like you ever need to.

Thanks for taking the time this time, though!
Jul. 24th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
haha no worries, I wouldn't have read it if I weren't interested. I was very interested, but as we don't know each other well, and I don't know your background, I was hesitant to say too much and risk offense.

as it happens, I have a great (but strictly amateur) interest in minority religious sects and their theological squabbles.
Jul. 24th, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
Excellent, I'm glad to know you didn't just read it out of a sense of obligation, which is what I was afraid of.

By way of more introduction: I'm a lifelong Methodist, but not a particularly orthodox one. I mean I'm an active member in a local church and say the Apostles Creed along with the rest of them and believe most of it after my fashion, but I've also never been shy about disagreeing with what the church (my own or any other) officially taught. At the same time, I have a high respect for tradition, which isn't to say I don't think the way things have been done can ever be wrong; it's more to say I think we risk losing something significant when we simply dismiss that narrative of what people have done earlier on in a certain religion's history. If that makes any sense.

I also was a graduate student in philosophy of religion (specifically Anselm) at a Jesuit school until recently. I'm less well-versed in other areas of religion and theology and philosophy, though. Still lots to learn in those areas. But there's that as well...
Jul. 24th, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
my relationship with religious faith has always been as an observer rather than participant, but I share with you a respect for and admiration of longstanding tradition (balanced with necessary critique, of course).

I have a strong (though also amateur) background in art history, which I think makes it especially hard for me to write off religion altogether. I owe religion a great deal, from that perspective alone.

it's become popular at cocktail parties in the past few years for people to say, "I don't care for organized religion, but I'm a very spiritual person." (This phrase always recited with a degree of self-seriousness, as if to imply that it's the first time it's ever been uttered.) I like to joke that I am not spiritual in the slightest, but I adore organized religions. :)



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