Final Thoughts on Our Symposium on Home
Our symposium on Home in a Changing World is drawing to a close, and we want to thank all of our readers, writers, and editors for their hard work and participation! These essays have delved deeply into our topic, exploring concepts of home, family, and culture from many angles. Through them, we’ve been asked to consider questions like what home looks like for the homeless, how we see home with new eyes after returning to it, what home may mean for children who have lived in multiple countries since a young age, how to fashion and fill our homes, and how our homes might prefigure our heavenly home.
We also saw the concept of home play out in multiple works of art, including Huck Finn’s rejection of false homes, the strange but loving home in Howl’s Moving Castle, the contrasting types of homes at play in Anna Karenina, and the impact of the American spirit on homes in True Grit.
We’ve been led to reconsider how we need to value our real family connections over our self-centered house designs and manic busyness. We’re reminded that we must look for opportunities to be hospitable and not let the ideals of the perfect home (or the Pinterest home) get in the way of opening our homes to others. We’ve been shown great examples of how essential the liturgies and routines of the home are to the well being of families. And we’ve seen how vital the small particulars, personal experiences, and memories of our homes can be to understanding both ourselves and our broader world.
Home has always been a central reality of the human experience, and we are wise to consider the questions it asks and the answers we might have in response. But at the end of the day, we all return to some kind of home, where the ideas must be woven into the fabric of lived reality. Whatever the texture of your home life, above all we hope that you come away from this Symposium with a renewed awareness of vital truths about your own home and a fresh intentionality, perhaps even eagerness, about the life you live in it and from it.
We have truly enjoyed this conversation with you and our writers and are eager for it to continue within your own homes!
Sincerely, The Home Symposium Editors
Special Guest Editor
Liz Horst holds a degree in English literature from Grove City College. She works as a Suzuki violin teacher in the Washington, D.C. area and, in her spare time, enjoys immersing herself in great books and poetry.
Anna Smith holds an MA in biblical studies from Westminster Seminary California and a BA in political science from Geneva College. She works at Westminster and lives in Southern California with her husband, where she loves the ocean but misses her native Midwest. She (mostly re-)tweets @AnnaSpeckhard.
Lauren Bobbitt, a 2009 John Jay Institute fellow, has a background in literature and earned her MA at Marquette University. She currently works in communications for an organic dairy farm, where she enjoys the smell of manure and striving to reflect the good life in her living and writing.
JJI Managing Editor
Zachary Gappa has a degree in Political Theory from Patrick Henry College and currently works as both Managing Editor for the John Jay Institute’s Center for a Just Society and Operations Manager at Gappa Security Solutions. Most recently he has been enjoying trying to stay warm in Wisconsin while planning family activities for Summer.