Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).

Recent Posts by Jeff

Killing the Buddha

Joining the Family

I’m the black sheep of an academic family — my father is a retired Sovietologist, my sister a scholar of Arabic literature, my brother-in-law an Ottomanist, my wife an American historian, and my mother was an editor for the State University of New York Press. I, alone, lack a higher degree, and the diploma I…

The Apocalypse is Always Now

The introduction to Believer, Beware: First-Person Dispatches from the Margins of Faith.

Killing the Buddha

Michael Jackson, Mark Sanford, & the Synagogue of Satan

After ignoring the most politically influential religious group in Washington for decades, the Washington Post is going big with the revelation that randy Republicans Mark Sanford and John Ensign both sought spiritual solace in the C Street House of the Family, aka the Fellowship. I happen to have written a book about The Family, so…

Killing the Buddha

The Faith Between Us

Killing the Buddha‘s Monday feature is “Why We Hunt,” by the tremendously talented and brutally honest Scott Korb. I met Scott in 2004, at a book party for Killing the Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible. Scott was a skinny raggedy guy with glasses and a messenger bag; I think he’d ridden his bike to the party,…

Killing the Buddha

Confessions of a Hollywood Propagandist

KillingTheBuddha.com has been publishing on a shoestring — or less — for nearly nine years now, a miraculous feat of online longevity we’re celebrating in July with the publication of the second KtB book to manifest in print, Believer, Beware: First-Person Dispatches from the Margins of Faith, a collection of KtB’s greatest hits mixed with…

Killing the Buddha

Bad for the Jews

“Bad for the Jews” is a Jewish thing. It’s what my great uncles and aunts would say when they read about a Jewish serial killer or a Jewish pornographer. “Bad for the Jews” means a shanda, Yiddish for an embarrassment before the goyim, an event or a person that might tragically be taken for representative….

Killing the Buddha

The Impertinence of Mountains

National Review‘s latest issue features a cover cartoon of Sonia Sotomayor as the Buddha — as if that’s a bad thing. Pakistani painter Asma Ahmed Shikoh depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman, as if that’s a good thing — which, on Ahmed Shikoh’s gorgeous canvas, it is. “It is pretty irresistible to…

Killing the Buddha

Ghosts of Cairo

Anthea Butler hears the ghost of Malcolm X in Obama’s Cairo speech. “So the past isn’t over until we understand it,” writes poet Lawrence Raab in his new book, The History of Forgetting, “which is one of the reasons / ghosts keep appearing.” Obama’s speech will not allow them to rest, says Alexander Cockburn. “There…

The Supreme Love and Revolutionary Funk of Dr. Cornel West, Philosopher of the Blues

(A version of this article first appeared in the May 28, 2009 Rolling Stone.) Cornel West is a slender man, but he hugs like a sumo wrestler: crouch, grab, wrap and squeeze. “I want to love everybody,” West tells me not long after he greets me at his Princeton University office with a bear hug…

Killing the Buddha

Unusual Suspects

Dan Gilgoff explains why the Sotomayor nomination hearings may not be so predictable after all on his U.S. News and World Report blog, God and Country. In The Guide, the magazine of gay travel, entertainment, politics, and sex, veteran religious right watcher Doug Ireland notes that Obama’s rightward moves on matters of concern to Christian…

Killing the Buddha

Any Which Wall

Killing the Buddha contributing editor Laurel Snyder has just published a new book! Order Cheap Cialis Any Which Wall, a book about everyday magic for young readers, and a tribute to children’s book author Edward Eager. This old reader hasn’t had a chance to read it yet, but here’s an early review. Read more about…

Killing the Buddha

Jews, God and Videotape

Gottlieb called his rabbi and said, “I know tonight is Kol Nidre, but tonight the Yankees start the playoffs. Rabbi, I’m a life-long Yankee fan. I’ve got to watch the game!” The rabbi says, “Gottlieb, that’s what VCRs are for.” Gottlieb is thrilled. “You mean I can tape Kol Nidre?” Thus Jeffrey Shandler opens his…

Killing the Buddha

This Progamming Brought to You by the F.B.I.

There’s little question that the four men arrested for plotting a series of terror attacks north of New York City are creeps. One’s a purse snatcher who collects urine. Another boasts of being willing to murder to save $700. One dealt drugs behind a school. Not much is available on the fourth man, besides the…

Killing the Buddha

Very Special Forces

American political journalists tends to pooh-pooh generals on the way out and coo over them on the way in, much the same way business journalists persuade themselves that one Harvard MBA at the head of a company will somehow be different than the last Harvard MBA. So it’s gone with Obama’s new “Afpak” commander, Lt….

Killing the Buddha

My Good News Club

Good stuff: 1. I just received my copy of Michelle Goldberg’s new book, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, for which I wrote a jacket blurb: “The Means of Reproduction is a bold and vital book, a story about life and those who twist that word to front for…

Killing the Buddha

KtB Radio

I’ve been doing a lot of media in response to my May Harper’s feature, “Jesus Killed Mohammed,” available to subscribers at Harper’s and excerpted here on Killing the Buddha. Today I’ll be discussing the fundamentalist front within America’s armed forces with Scott Horton, on Antiwar Radio, out of Austin, Texas, at 3:30 eastern time. At…

Killing the Buddha

Bring Out Your Dead

“The Man giveth, and The Man taketh away.” So begins JoAnn Wypijewski’s sermonic report on a report, the AFL-CIO’s 18th annual “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.” Wypijewski only rarely writes explicitly about religion, but a religious aesthetic of witness animates her prose, some of the best literary journalism published today. “Death at…

Killing the Buddha

KtB Radio

I’ve been doing a lot of media in response to my May Harper’s feature, “Jesus Killed Mohammed,” available to subscribers at Harper’s and excerpted here on Killing the Buddha. Today I’ll be discussing the fundamentalist front within America’s armed forces with Scott Horton, on Antiwar Radio, out of Austin, Texas, at 3:30 eastern time. At…