Tag: Religion

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 ...

A Ouija for the Apocalypse

It is no easy feat to establish a cult and herald the apocalypse. I learned this firsthand while playing the card-based videogame Cultist Simulator, set in ...

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 ...