Arthur Goldwag

Arthur Goldwag is the author of The Beliefnet Guide to Kabbalah (Doubleday, 2005), Isims & Ologies (Vintage, 2007), and Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies (Vintage, 2009). A contributing editor at Scholastic’s Storyworks magazine, he also writes for children.

Recent Posts by Arthur

Beware of Christmas Stories

Alternet has a sobering followup to the heartwarming story about the NY City policeman who gave the homeless man a pair of boots. As reported in the New York Times, the object of the policeman’s generosity, a 54-year-old army veteran named Jeffrey Hillman, was shoeless again within days, the $100 pair of boots either sold…

Killing the Buddha

Creationism and Conspiracism

Katha Pollit has an interesting piece in The Nation about why it matters that so many Americans are creationists. It isn’t that 46 percent of respondents are creationists (“God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last ten thousand years or so”). Or that 32 percent believe in “theistic evolution”…

Haters in the Public Square

Thursday evening I’m driving up Connecticut Avenue on my way to my reading at Politics & Prose and the cab driver has NPR on the radio. All Things Considered is talking about CPAC, which is kicking off just blocks away, and the GOP’s new national front runner, Rick Santorum. They play a snippet from one…

Why I Wrote The New Hate

Back in 2009, I published a book called Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies—a serious-minded but basically gee-whiz impulse-buy type compendium of odd, offbeat, and scary beliefs and belief systems. “Mystics,” I wrote in its introduction, “believe that multiplicity and change are illusory; that everything is ultimately interconnected…that our universe is a cosmic One in which…

The Sexologist’s Secret

What a radical Victorian feminist really knew about love.

In Jews-for-Jesus Heaven

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, the founder of Jews for Judaism, sounds forth on Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, who died last week. Rabbi Kravitz, as my mother used to say, gives Rosen gut gesucht. He believed … that unless you believe in Jesus, you will burn in hell. This included the 6 million…

Heresy Is a Cradle

Anne Hutchinson’s “No in Thunder.”

Why I Don’t Pray

God just might not be that kind of God.