And now a story definitely not from rationality camp

After nearly a week of Less Wrong retreat updates, I realize some of you may want a palate cleanser. You’re in luck. My friend Tristyn, who blogs at Eschatological Psychosis, has been posting excerpts from her senior essay and soliciting comment. Her thesis was on Father John of Kronstadt, and I enjoyed reading her paper, but I did kind of wish that her whole paper had been on the role of holy fools in the Russian Orthodox once I read this section. And now you, too, can feel my longing.  Reading … [Read more...]

Math-Related Prayer Hijinks

I like praying the Liturgy of the Hours because, at a bare minimum, it gives me something to say to God.  Not just the words of the prayers but, basically, "I'm really grateful for prayer traditions because I'd pretty much suck at having to make all this up on my own."  Instead of just being grateful for language period, it's kind of like being grateful for slang -- the shared set of references that characterize a relationship or a community.The trouble is, that I haven't been praying for v … [Read more...]

Feser’s Typology of Atheism (Part 2)


Today, I'm returning to Edward Feser's typology of atheism.  Monday, I took a look at ways atheists approach religious philosophy, today the focus is on responses to religious practice.  Here's how Feser splits up atheists: A. Religious practice is mostly or entirely contemptible and something we would all be well rid of. The ritual side of religion is just crude and pointless superstition. Religious morality, where it differs from secular morality, is sheer bigotry. Even where certain moral p … [Read more...]

Adoration and Abramovic


Due to a convoluted sequence of events,  I spent about half an hour in an Adoration chapel last night.  For the non-Catholics, Eucharistic Adoration is the act of spending time in a chapel with a consecrated communion wafer, believed to be the real presence of Jesus Christ.  A friend had felt a calling that I should go, and since I could spare the time and didn't want to be accused of being a bad sport, I went along.  (Not to keep you in suspense: I was not converted).The time in the chapel r … [Read more...]

[Guest Post] Close Reading of Acts 13

Yesterday, Christian H of The Thinking Grounds posted an outline of how he approaches the Bible (a response to a plea for guest posts).   Today, he's given us a thorough example of what his theory looks like when it's applied.  Many thanks for his contribution.Given how abstract my previous post was, I think that a concrete example is in order. I suggest that you read that previous post if you haven’t already, as I wrote this as a companion to that. I also want to remind you that I don’t … [Read more...]

[Guest Post] A Christian Lit Nerd Reads the Bible

Long ago, I asked Christians to explain how they read the Bible.  At the time, no one wanted to tackle such a complex question in a blog post, so I tried to pry out some answers by including a question on this topic in the Ideological Turing Test.  Today, I'm delighted to announce that Christian H. of The Thinking Grounds has stepped up to the plate (you may remember him from my frequent links to his series on the connection between the self and the body).Christian has written two posts: to … [Read more...]

Picking a Lenten Discipline

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions about choosing a discipline for Lent! Your comments ranged from the very practical to the illuminatingly philosophical. And the clear majority of comments started with thoughts about food.The trouble is, I’m already a very picky eater with a small appetite. My meals tend to be bread (or bagels or pasta) and seltzer with fruit on the side. My friend Tristyn knew this when she caveated her recommendation that I join her in her Orthodox fasting by s … [Read more...]