A few thoughts on fundamentalism

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about fundamentalism in preparation for an upcoming project I’d like to do on Rene Girard’s mimetic theory. As part of the development process, I’ve been doing a series of presentations to help me workshop the material. I’ve never approached a documentary project in this way before. However, I’m finding [Read More...]

The new cutting edge of horror?

I’ve always had a fascination with horror movies. In fact, one of the first things that piqued my interest in filmmaking was reading about legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce, Lon Chaney, Jr., Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and the Universal monster movies. (The book pictured here was one of my favorites.) Long before I’d seen any [Read More...]

An abstract for a book chapter I’m going to write

Recently I was asked to contribute to an upcoming book on Marshall McLuhan and philosophy. My role is to write on McLuhan and film narrative. It just so happened that shortly before I received this request, I watched Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchained. Like his previous film, Inglourious Basterds, I was so struck by [Read More...]

What’s your “immortality formula”?

One of my major discoveries during the production of Hellbound? was the work of existential psychologist Ernest Becker. Tragically, he succumbed to lung cancer when he was just 50 years old. But thankfully he was afforded enough time on earth to write The Denial of Death, in which the following quote appears. Becker ranks as [Read More...]

Storming the four fortresses of hell – conclusion

I began this series several weeks ago, inspired in part by some responses to my cheat sheet on hell. Since then, we’ve looked at truth, freedom and justice to see how our understanding of these terms affects our view of hell. Today we come to our final “fortress”: love. And what better way to begin [Read More...]

Storming the four fortresses of hell – part 2

Last week I began my assault on what I’m calling the four fortresses of hell, beginning with “truth.” By “fortress,” I mean a concept on which people tend to plant their flag when it comes to developing a theology of post-mortem rewards and punishments. I narrowed it down to four: truth, freedom, justice and love. [Read More...]

Why I struggle with the notion of objective reality (or at least our ability to access it)

I kind of surprised myself while writing yesterday’s post when it came to the issue of objective reality and whether or not I believe in it. As I noted, I was tempted to give a pat answer along the lines of “Of course objective reality exists, but none of us can ever experience it objectively, [Read More...]

Why what’s clear to you isn’t so clear to me (part 3)

My last post in this series ended in somewhat of a stalemate. I began by explaining how we all read the Bible/Tradition/Experience/Reason through a different Interpretive Principle, which is itself shaped by a unique configuration of the four influences just cited. I concluded by expressing my skepticism as to whether or not any of us [Read More...]

If the NRA had any balls, this is what they would do

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. — NRA President Wayne LaPierre There’s no denying the appeal of LaPierre’s statement. Last week, wouldn’t we all have rather read headlines about the death of attempted mass murderer Adam Lanza instead of how he brutally cut [Read More...]

Why what’s clear to you isn’t so clear to me (part 1)

After reading dozens of books, writing hundreds of blog posts, engaging in thousands of conversations both online and off, and touring Hellbound? through two dozen cities across North America, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m somewhat pessimistic about our ability to engage in constructive theological dialogue. All too often what starts out as a [Read More...]