Elaine Schnabel

Elaine Schnabel (’11) spent her twenties traveling, blogging, and earning various master’s degrees. Now earning her PhD at the University of North Carolina in organizational communication, Elaine researches and writes at the intersection of religion and communication. You can find her blogging at Religious (Not Crazy).

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Learning to Board Game

Euchre has very little variation. Sentinels of the Multiverse, on the other hand, has somewhere between 14 million to 230 million different game scenarios. That’s cool. Really. But those 230 different scenarios have a price-tag of roughly the same amount of rules.

How to Make Friends

It turns out that if friendship is based on common ground, it is literal ground shared that makes more of a difference than shared ideas. Friendship begins and ends with shared space.

Mission to Civilize

The men and women writing and producing these shows are the missing element. They are giving us what we are hungry for: an intelligent and civil discussion.

A Bold and Meaningless Endeavor

He asks the Christian to both hate the world enough to want to change and it and love it without rationality. I do love and hate the world, I realized as I read, and that is something that matters more than I.

Tread Softly

I fill the silence with keyboard tapping, clicking on links that ask me to write a new cover letter, tweak my resume, and fill in my name, my education, my credentials.

Just Maybe

More helpful in the sanctification process is comedian Louis C.K.’s bit called “Of course . . . but maybe.” It is irreverent and shockingly relevant to Biblical hermeneutics.

Status Update

I’m carrying around the symbol of someone’s desire to be with me the rest of his life. That’s awkward, especially since there’s no protocol for me reciprocating the gesture.

Nonessential Issues

It is for this reason a man can be saved by faith through works. It is a great mystery. It is a still greater mystery to me why a pastor’s theology is ever given priority over its people.

The Value of Stupid Inertia

But in the end it’s words words words, nothing but wild and whirling words in our heads, and we’re dead in ways we’ll never be able to fix by thinking more about it.

Baby Groot

I can buy many cookies with $250. So when I shelled it out, my tummy ached with the loss of thousands of cookies I was hypothetically never going to eat.

If I Were a Mystic

If I were a daughter of the 1200s like Mechtild of Madgeburg, I like to think that I, too, would have visions of and write poems about God.

The Worst

O Dear Sweet Christmas Tree of the many pine needles, whom we all ignored eleven and a half months of the year but for whom we have so much love that we have to chop down and murder.

Toilets, an Autoethnography

My fondness for toilets began in first grade when I staged a protest in the Jackson Elementary School girls’ bathroom. I objected to recess, of all things.

Feminist Confessions

Somehow, years before, I’d put myself in a box. I could either be pretty or a bad-ass soccer player, not both, and it was obvious which the superior choice was.

Scroll Down

I can’t be the only one scrolling down so much because Pinterest is a thing and BuzzFeed is still publishing The Definitive Rankings of the World’s Hottest Gay Rugby Players.

Why We Wander

As a writer, I want to say I’m haunted by this question—why do we travel? In reality I’m not “haunted” by the why of travel so much as annoyed by its insistence on being answered.


Costas is a short man with bright brown eyes, a salt-and-pepper beard. He dresses in long pants with a plaid button up tucked into a high waistband. Sensible walking shoes.

Snippets of Reality

Turning the key four times to the right. The coos of belligerent pigeons roosting outside their window, the flaps of their wings oddly resonate in the small living space.

My Woman of Valor

My mom is a beast. My mom has kicked cancer in the teeth and runs triathlons. Not quite simultaneously, but close.


You are the word shakers, the meaning-makers. The insiders into unspoiled beauty. The creators of escape. And you must not leave the rest of us behind.

Worth It

A salary is a good thing, and teaching is really pretty awesome once you get over the blank stares of students, and I’ve never actually disliked writing papers or doing research.

Holy Spirit Slap

I’m sorry to be critical, but would you mind slapping those Christians who bookended her talk, God? Nicely, of course. Like with the power of the Holy Spirit?

Play the Gloria

I don’t like resolutions because they are either so small as to be accomplished in a couple months or so general as to be forgotten within the same amount of time.

I Heard You Like Lists

Crushing on characters (both alive and dead, real and fictional) is probably what steered me toward my lucrative career path in words and stuff.

A Year of the Lord’s Favor

I am learning to see God as my portion, but will I ever understand a life without air? The Lord’s favor is not an idyllic future, but a constant and inevitable, ineffable reality.

Not Another Twilight

How do you teach a classroom of sleepy freshmen that feminism is about equality, not (necessarily) bra-burning? That making fun of someone denotes privilege, not power?

No Joint Locks

I want the action Bonhoeffer describes: “Not in the flight of ideas, but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of the living.”