The Gospel of Authenticity

In last Saturday’s New York Times, Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster critique the “pursuit of authenticity” that has pervaded American spirituality in the past few decades. Titling their piece, “The Gospel According to ‘Me’,” Critchley and Webster describe America’s transition from a society rooted in Judeo-Christian morals to one characterized by “a weak but all-pervasive idea of spirituality tied to a personal ethic of authenticity and a liturgy of inwardness.” Spirituality has become an “ea … [Read more...]

Politics and the Bible as Narrative

red sea

From Oliver O’Donovan’s The Desire of the Nations:If political theologians are to treat ancient Israel’s political tradition as normative, they must observe the discipline of treating it as history. They may not plunder the Old Testament as though it were so much raw material to be consumed, in any order and in any variety of proportions, in the manufacture of their own theological artefact. They are dealing with a disclosure which took form in a succession of political developments, each o … [Read more...]

Faith, Fiction, and Reason

narnia

T.M. Luhrmann is a Stanford anthropologist famous for her research on evangelical devotional life, studying the mechanics of God's presence in their lives. A few days ago, in a NY Times article, she asked and answered the following question: "Why is C.S. still a rock star for evangelicals?"  In her view, it boils down to his fiction, particularly his Narnia series, which paints a complex picture of God that is "insulated from human doubt about religion." The series, she argues, "helps us to … [Read more...]

The Summer Pop Culture Found Religion

vampire weekend

Behold the summer where pop culture (or at least its high priests) found religion. Two of the biggest, most influential albums to drop this summer place religious questions and symbols at their core. More importantly, both promise to be memorable works. One, Modern Vampires of the City, marks the critical and commercial highwater mark of indie-rock impresarios Vampire Weekend. The other, Kanye West’s Yeezus, has received rave reviews and, given the artist’s current pop culture ascendance (cf. “Ki … [Read more...]

How Should We Spend Our Goodwill?

tatra

The New York Times reports on the controversy over the presence of Christian religious symbols on Euro coins: It therefore came as a rude surprise when, late last year, the National Bank of Slovakia announced that the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, had ordered it to remove halos and crosses from special commemorative euro coins due to be minted this summer. The decision has been reversed and Slovakia is going ahead with its plan to print the coins with religious symbols. But t … [Read more...]

Unequal Conversation Partners

religion

In a recent post over at NPR, Adam Frank reviews Religion without God, Ronald Dworkin’s posthumously published book on religion. In his book, Dworkin attempts to expand the definition of religion beyond its traditional boundaries, arguing that you can be religious even if you don’t believe in God. For Frank, this innovative thesis shifts the ground on which science/religion debates take place.  A broader definition overcomes the apparent cultural rift between “evangelical vs. scientist, believer … [Read more...]

What We Can Learn from Young Atheists

Ephesians

Recently The Atlantic posted an article entitled, “Listening to Young Atheists, Lessons for a Stronger Christianity.” In it, Larry Alex Tauron, the article’s author, reports the results of a survey he conducted to figure how, why, and when young atheists decided to become atheists (“Tell us your journey to unbelief.”). Taunton states that he expected to find Hitchens, Dawkins, and the other New Atheists at the forefront of these young people’s minds—but instead, they rarely mentioned any specific … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X