Tag: Religion

Purgatory Is for Real

If heaven, as the Talking Heads lyric puts it, is a place where nothing ever happens, it has nevertheless powered numerous books up American best-seller lists. In the past decade, several titles have ...

The Polyphonic Gospel

At one point in Umberto Eco’s novel Foucault’s Pendulum the narrator speculates about how the Gospels came to be written: “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are a bunch of practical jokers who meet ...

Taking Sides Against God

While mostly forgotten today, Danish writer Jens Peter Jacobsen was widely admired by his 19th-century contemporaries and went on to inspire the likes of Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann, and James ...

A Tapestry of Black Lives

James Baldwin’s legacy looms powerfully in this current moment. This may be all the more true for black writers. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, one of the contributors to Jesmyn Ward’s timely new anthology ...

The Big Picture: Jews and Trump

Exit polls conducted during the 2016 election yielded a fact about the political allegiances of American Jews that was at once totally unsurprising and potentially misleading: over 70 percent of ...

Atheists in the Pantheon

Atheists, infidels, unbelievers. Humanists, materialists, naturalists. There are a lot of terms for the nonreligious, and many only tell us what people don’t believe. But what do nonbelievers ...

A Tapestry of Black Lives

James Baldwin’s legacy looms powerfully in this current moment. This may be all the more true for black writers. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, one of the contributors to Jesmyn Ward’s timely new anthology ...

Losing Their Religion

Rarely do we pity the pious Victorian patriarch. Why should we sympathize with the privileged men who stoutly believed that God had placed them at the apex of a “Great Chain of Being”? One of the ...

God Walks Into a Bar

One of the stories in Joy Williams’s Ninety-Nine Stories of God finds Franz Kafka triumphantly addressing a fish at a public aquarium. He has just become a vegetarian, and thus finally feels his ...

How Spiritualism Spread

It seems unlikely that any era in human history was without its fascination with death or the desire to communicate with those who have passed into it. But the 19th century was a period in which ...

Orange Alert

In our post-9/11 era, the phrase “national security” has become all too familiar. A simple Google search yields over 361,000,000 results, ranging from the National Security Council homepage to op-eds ...