Tag: Religion

Empathetic Criticism

Over the past 50 years or so we have heard repeated calls to break down and restructure the canon, to integrate works from non-Western literary cultures into the general knowledge we expect an ...

Soft Atheism

It’s not easy being new. It doesn’t last long. Sometimes it isn’t even an apt characterization in the first place. Take “New Atheism,” the label applied to a body of writings by such figures as ...

Falling Faintly: McEwan’s Latest

In 1893, the Scottish writer William Sharp began publishing poetry under the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod. MacLeod’s poems caught the eye of W. B. Yeats, who admired her lyricism even as he disdained the ...

The Road to the Holy Mountain

Twenty years ago, I stumbled upon one of the most unusual places on earth. A young student of logic, I was attending a workshop in Thessaloniki with extra time to spare, and the teacher suggested ...

Abney Park Cemetery

This is a new installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. Salvation Army officers don’t die; they are “promoted to glory.” In Abney Park Cemetery there ...

Mysteries

In medieval England, craft guilds—nailmakers, woolworkers, saddlers, grocers—designed scenes from Biblical history, beginning with Genesis, coursing through the life of Christ, and ending with ...

Fly on the Wall

What is it like to be a fly? What is it like to be a Jew? Despite its trans-species premise—an 18th-century French Jew is reincarnated as a fly in 21st-century Long Island—Jacob’s Folly, the new ...

When the Diaspora Is Enuf

Quiet as it’s kept, some of us colored-girl creative-writer types kept our cool circa 2006 when that gelato-dripping, Gita-flipping, Bali-bossa-nova-ing best seller Eat, Pray, Love went multi ...

Jinn in the Machine

G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen is an unusual, exciting work of urban fantasy that broadens the usual meanings of “urban” and “fantasy.” What does it mean, the novel asks, for a person to turn to ...

Islamic Desire

An Arab Melancholia seems tailor-made for the contemporary cultural wars between liberal humanists and Islamic fundamentalists. “Abdellah Taïa,” the book’s blurb declares, “is the first openly gay ...