“There is a deadly earnestness with which children take up whatever rules have been established for a particular context.”
Graciela Mochkofsky on “The Prophet of the Andes”
In this latest episode of the Writing Latinos podcast, we discuss how a new book shatters preconceptions about religion in the Americas.
How to Be a Prophet?
The US Religious Right wins elections, but advances nationalism and white supremacy. Why, then, should the Religious Left seek to emulate them?
Are There “Good-Enough” Feminists?
The way women practice feminism differs between Quebec and France, especially in how they welcome—or don’t—Muslim women.
Did Don Quixote Long for Muslim Spain?
Between the lines, Cervantes critiqued the Catholic church, and lamented over the systematic destruction of Islamic culture in Spain.
Tolerance by Accident, Trust by Design
Today, trade and globalization often reinforce the incentives for coercion and violence. But what might the history of India reveal about the economic conditions of toleration?
Thoreau in Good Faith
The writer went to Walden to reorient his world, so that the woods, rather than the town, centered his spiritual map.
What Will Be Impossible?
Why excavate these Reformation characters—the preacher and the werewolf—now? What do they have to teach us?
Public Thinker: Meghan O’Gieblyn on God, Machines, and Intelligence
“We can’t always explain how algorithms reach their decisions. The reasoning of algorithms, like the will of God, is unfathomable.”
Leaving Orthodoxy, Again
Losing faith in Orthodox Judaism is an old story. But today it’s often the “heretics” who rely on faith, and the “faithful” who draw on science.
What Happens When a Metaphor Becomes Real?
The humanities can reveal the truth of the world’s crises, everything from contagions like the pandemic to apocalypses like right-wing violence.
Philanthropy and the “Jewish Continuity Crisis”
Today, Jewish philanthropy—like all philanthropy—is big business, thanks to US philanthropy’s torturous entanglement with US capitalism.
Leïla Slimani’s Taboos
Franco-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani reveals the dirty underside of bourgeois domesticity. Is her taboo breaking worthy of praise?
“Soulful, Perhaps Even Magical” Science
Yaa Gyasi’s new novel meditates on the problems we try to solve with science, with faith, and with love.
Watching the End Times from the Good Place
Television responded to our cultural—and planetary—existential crisis with The Good Place.
Who Gets to Be a Jewish Writer?
“The term ‘Jewish writer,’” argues Cynthia Ozick, “ought to be an oxymoron.” Yet 82 years earlier, in 1924, the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva proclaimed that “in ...
This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, by the philosopher Martin Hägglund, who teaches at Yale, is a book anyone committed to public-facing scholarship ought to take note of. This is all the ...
Another Mormon Education
The first sentence Tara Westover writes in her engrossing memoir Educated is a disclaimer: “This story is not about Mormonism.” This is true in the same ...
Marriage and Other Shams
In the early 1980s, an Indian guru homesteaded a tract of ranchland in rural Oregon, building a utopia equipped to withstand both HIV and American hypocrisy. Armed with free love and even freer ...
“Am I Not One of the ‘Disappeared’?”
Zahia Rahmani’s « Musulman » roman hinges on a question that has gathered force in recent years: a witness is speaking, but will she ever be heard?