American evangelicals conventionally eschew the smoking of anything but an exception is somehow made when a seminary student takes up the inevitable pipe. It makes him feel Inklings-esque.

Bible college (seminary’s inferior cousin) also fosters pipe smokers. Students and faculty who identify as missional/emergent will furtively gather to ponder Kierkegaard and epistemology whilst chomping on pipe stems. From here it is just a short hop onto the hookah train. Next thing you know they’re congregating in hookah bars (the married guys must first convince their wives, who are initially horrified) to discuss tobaccos, reformed theology, and IPAs. This makes them feel relevant.

The unorthodoxist’s mecca.

This sort of carrying on occurs mostly at seminaries in Canada and on the U.S. coasts where pub culture is more prominent. Old-guard Christian culture decries pubs and drinking of any sort as “of the world” so you’ll have to go elsewhere to pretend you’re an Inkling.

The old guard knows its heroes Lewis, Tolkien, Spurgeon and the like smoked and frequented pubs yet it holds an understanding that we should not. Thusly, pipes and their smokers are less acceptable at schools in the midwest and the Bible belt, but you can still suss them out.

Only the edgiest and/or butchest girls participate. Most female students of the Bible have zero involvement in any pipe or hookah ventures due to utter lack of interest.

“Jack, you never pack the bloody bowl right.”
“Sod off, Tollers.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad