Adam and Eve, painting by Edvard Munch

Interview with Bishop Erik Varden

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Bishop Eric Varden.

He was born in Norway in 1974. In 2002, after 10 years at the University of Cambridge, he joined Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Charmwood Forest. Pope Francis named him bishop of Trondheim in 2019.

The conversation focused on his book Chastity: The Resurrection of the Senses.

Here is our conversation:

”The pedagogy of chastity presupposes frank recognition of who I am and where I am. […] We would do ourselves and others a disservice were we to pretend that life is simple. Living is a complex business, quite often a painful business. One of the things that Biblical revelation does with such astonishing courage is to spell out the extent of the pain we can entertain as human beings. But it will also insist that there is ‘a balm in Gilead’ and that pain (be it the pain of loneliness or the pain of betrayal or whatever it might be) can always, if we live that pain in faith, if we try to live it in God, be a path of growth and maturity that can bear fruit in compassion.”

Painting ‘Adam and Eve’ by Edvard Munch, painted in 1909. The original is at Munchmuseet, Oslo.