Garrett Baer

Garrett Baer is a graduate student in religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Recent Posts by Garrett

We’re Still Louvin’ You, Charlie!

This morning, Charlie Louvin—one half of the classic country duo the Louvin Brothers—passed away at the age of 83. Though the Brothers ended their musical partnership back in 1963, and Ira, Charlie’s hard-drinking older brother, died in a 1965 car crash, their music has never really gone away. The Louvins’ distinctive close harmony went on…

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Long Live the Occult

Over at BigThink, Mitch Horowitz gives a whirlwind tour of American occultism, from its Renaissance origins to New Age spirituality, from Lincoln’s White House séances to quantum physics, from the Ouija board all the way to Jay-Z. Horowitz, the author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation, strikes a fine…

Killing the Buddha

Can Religion Save You from Marketing?

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. – Ephesians 6:16 The upcoming issue of Marketing Science features a paper of interest to the devout, the atheist, and everyone in between. “Brands: The Opiate of the Non-Religious Masses?” is the result of…

The Gospel Not According to Superman

I was tricked; John T. Galloway, Jr. pulled a fast one. He opens The Gospel of Superman (1973) with a galvanizing statement of purpose: “It is not my intent in this book to find the gospel in Superman. Rather I seek to find the gospel where it can best be found—in scripture and in the…

Yes, Mr. Kristof, This Is America

Why are we so surprised by our own bigotry?

Exhaustive Exhaustion

Jorge Luis Borges wrote of a “certain Chinese encyclopaedia” in which taxonomy had run amok. “The animals,” we are told, “are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with…

Vive la Différence

Stephen Prothero on why all religions aren’t, deep down, all the same.

Still Just a Comic Book

Asterios Polyp and the fate of life lived through modernism.

Whom are we praying to again?

Breakfast with The Family

As I watch Obama’s speech at yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast, I find that many of his words ring true, though not for the reasons he intended. The elephant in that room—and it was, quite literally, in that room—was The Family, the self-described “invisible” organization forced into visibility by KtB’s own Jeff Sharlet. So when Obama…

Killing the Buddha

Crashing the Mayans’ Big Date

Most of us know, one should hope, that the media’s portrayal of 2012 is essentially baseless. What is more interesting, though, is the way that the Mayan date of 2012 has been forcibly grafted onto Western understandings of the ages of man and Judeo-Christian beliefs about the end of the world. The pop phenomenon surrounding…