After blogging in one form or another for the last twelve years (this is, of course, counting those wonderful platforms Xanga and Myspace), and now having written two books with more on the way, I thought it was finally time to create a website dedicated to little ole me and the work that I do. On the one hand, this feels, frankly, rather odd. While in person, should you ever meet me, you would find that I have no problem talking about myself or the things I do, writing it all down like this in such an official, and seemingly permanent manner seems, well, rather proud if not narcissistic. Nevertheless, you wonderful people can’t know about the things I do and whether or not they are worth your time unless I tell you about them. So, to begin, a little about me.
My name is David Russell Mosley and I was born in a small town in Illinois called Jacksonville. We may be small, but we were big enough for Sufjan Stevens to write a song about us. One, I contend, lasts precisely from the first to last exits for Jacksonville. When I was around a year old I was adopted by my paternal grandparents, something I’ve written more about on my blog, Letters from the Edge of Elfland. I grew up in a nominally Christian home where good morals were instilled in me, but church attendance was not a priority.
When I entered Junior High, that changed for me. I quickly became close friends with the son of a Churches of Christ (one of the three streams of the Stone-Campbell or Restoration Movement) preacher. A little over a year after our friendship began, and about four months after I decided Jesus made sense, I was baptized. I spent my young formative Christian years in this church tradition with its emphasis on the centrality of Scripture. I read the whole Bible for the first time when I was about 14 years old. By the end of high school I was determined to become a youth minister and decided to go to Lincoln Christian College (now Lincoln Christian University).
A failed attempt at being a youth minister and other matters, quickly moved me out of youth ministry and into Biblical Exposition––a kind of pre-grad school theology major––where I continued to fall in love with the Bible, but also now theology and church history. Along with meeting and marrying my wife, my time here was spent forming friendships and digging deeper into my understanding of who God is and what it means to be a Christian.
In grad school, where I majored in Church History/Historical Theology, I first began to encounter the great theologians of our past. Gregory of Nazianzus, John Cassian, Athanasius, Augustine, they all became my closes friends. They were added to C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien whom I already admired. I would go on to do my thesis on a Irish monk called Columbanus and his views on grace and the Trinity. I think I began to fall in love with the Catholic Church during this time, but it’s hard to say for certain.
After grad school, my wife and I moved to England, Nottingham to be precise, so I could do a PhD in theology. I switched topics from Columbanus to human creativity and deification, which resulted in my book, Being Deified: Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God. During my PhD I also wrote my first novel, On the Edges of Elfland: A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups, had my first two children––twin boys, non identical––and had one of them diagnosed and cured of cancer. I continued to blog and had my blog picked up by the Patheos Catholic channel. Occasionally, my work would appear on other websites as well. I also flirted with the idea of ordination in the Church of England but eventually moved back to the United States with my family.
After we moved back I didn’t feel at home in my tradition anymore. After nearly 3 years I finally decided enough was enough, I had been practically Catholic for years now, it was time to make it official. And so, at the Easter Vigil in 2017 I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Now I work as a teacher and Dean of Humanities at a local Catholic High School where I teach theology and English, and I continue to write both scholarship and fiction. I even dabble in poetry from time to time. I’ve already mentioned my two published works, but I have third under contract with Wipf and Stock, which you can read more about on Letters from the Edge of Elfland. I’m also beginning to branch out in new ventures which I will tell you about soon, not least of which is the desire to begin speaking more at churches and events.
I’ll be using this blog to keep you up to date on what’s happening at Letters from the Edge of Elfland, anywhere else I end up writing, and about what’s going on with my publications and speaking engagements. Until then.