How the West Really Lost God, by Mary Eberstadt – a Review

This review is part of the Patheos Book Club, which last month was reviewing Mary Eberstadt’s “How the West Really Lost God”. My review is a little late, due to my moving across the country. Other responses can be found here. In How the West Really Lost God sociologist Mary Eberstadt offers a new theory of secularization, [Read More…]

Daniel Dennett’s Strange Idea – and a More Radical One

Daniel Dennett – philosopher and atheist “horseman” – has been deeply involved with the Clergy Project, an effort to provide religious professionals who are experiencing doubts about their faith a safe space to discuss their changing views and a way to transition away from religious life. It’s a great project: for many it is an extraordinary psychological [Read More…]

We Must Criticize Islam – Responsibly

On Monday I helped coach a group of leaders from all around the world in the opening session of the Harvard Kennedy School’s “Global Change Agents Executive Education Program“. It was an inspiring day: participants from all continents and numerous nations shared their stories, explaining  what called them to change the world. One story particularly [Read More…]

Leave the Satanists Alone!

A visit to the website of The Satanic Temple threatens, at first glance, to reaffirm one’s worst prejudices. A rich red background is stamped with a livid symbol of a horned goat superimposed upon a pentagram. Scanning the page reveals an illustration of Paradise Lost by Gustav Dore, showing Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven: the angels, feathered wings unfurled, are [Read More…]

Neil Tyson on Philosophy – Let’s Not Overreact

Watch this first – it’s my video about this issue which attempts to satirize both Tyson’s views on philosophy and the reaction they have provoked in some quarters: Recently Neil deGrasse Tyson made a stir with some comments about philosophy on the Nerdist podcast. Speaking clearly with a hint of jest, the world-famous science communicator [Read More…]

World Voice Day – Poetry and Prose

For World Voice Day 2014 – a celebration of the voice in all its facets – I’ve recorded some selections of poetry and prose requested by friends. There is some sad stuff, some happy stuff, some inspiring stuff, and some sexually explicit stuff (be warned!) – a whole range. Enjoy! World Voice Day – Poetry [Read More…]

I Am Not a “None”

I went to church this week. Well, not exactly church, but to the remarkably-church-like Andover Hall at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Throughout the school year they hold “Noon Services” there, one a week celebrating a different “religious tradition”. One week the Buddhists will have a service, the next week the Presbyterians, and so on. This week [Read More…]