Nathan Schneider

Nathan Schneider is an editor of Killing the Buddha and writes about religion, reason, and violence for a variety of publications. He is also a founding editor of Waging Nonviolence. His first two books, published by University of California Press in 2013, are God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Visit his website at The Row Boat.

Recent Posts by Nathan

Killing the Buddha

The Varieties of Unbelief and the Ghost of Richard Dawkins

When the City University of New York’s Graduate Center decided to convene last night’s session of its Great Issues Forum around the question, “What Are the Varieties of Unbelief?” they seem to have tried as best they could to avoid a New Atheist-style foodfight. The name itself gestures to the title of a 1964 book…

Killing the Buddha

Why Is the End of the World Such a Big Deal?

I’ve got a new essay today in Obit that takes the new 2012 movie as an occasion for a reflection on why folks are always so eager to proclaim the end of the world: “You Broke It, You Bought It.” Though the word “apocalypse” now is usually taken to mean a world-ending calamity, the original…

Killing the Buddha

Preaching Babies

Just after getting home from meeting my new 12-day-old baby cousin for Thanksgiving, I was mighty disturbed to discover, courtesy of a friend, this charming thing on YouTube. Most fantastic of all is not the video itself, but just how many preaching babies there are in the “Related Videos.” Richard Dawkins might be right about…

Theologians ♥ Zizek

Buddha-killer Becky and I have been in a bit of a back-and-forth lately about a peculiar phenomenon we’ve been observing: the preponderance lately of hip young Christians (and even Quakers) getting worked up about the atheist, materialist, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek. (May the bodhisattvas of multiculturalism forgive my leaving out the diacritical marks.) Last year,…

Killing the Buddha

Why 2012?

With the subject line “2012,” Wendy Bradley wrote, regarding our present series on the subject: What a waste of time, attention, and resources. How come? XOW I suppose she’s got a point. 2012 is a terrible movie, and the whole phenomenon is more than a bit ridiculous. But maybe I can explain a little bit…

Religion Returns to Montreal

“Bonjour, hello,” I’m told, finally reaching the front of the long line at the convention center cafe. It’s Montreal. I can say “bonjour,” at least. Wouldn’t that be polite? But that could invite an incomprehensible flurry of Quebecois French, which would only serve to remind me how utterly I failed to learn the language from…

Killing the Buddha

More Mary Gordon Where That Came From

In addition to today’s excerpt from Mary Gordon’s new book, Reading Jesus, I did an interview with her over at Religion Dispatches.

Killing the Buddha

Planning Is a New Variety of the Sin of Pride

Jean-Luc Marion wrote, at the opening of his book God without Being, “One must admit that theology, of all writing, certainly causes the greatest pleasure.” Today, at the remarkable online journal Triple Canopy, I’ve got an essay that’s about the closest thing I’ve so far come to writing theology. It’s called “Divine Wilderness.” It is…

Killing the Buddha

The Calling of Reverend Billy

Why in tarnation is a performance artist running for mayor of New York City?

Killing the Buddha

Sentimental Repression

It has been a welcome relief from the busy romantic adventures of a single fellow in his mid-twenties in New York City, with my cellular phone by happenstance out of commission, to indulge in a reverie of reflection. Its occasion—in addition to the missing phone—was the discovery of Mark Greif’s challenging new essay at n+1…

Killing the Buddha

Of Course There Are Half-Jewish People

In response to Joanna Brooks’ piece today, “There Is No Such Thing as Half,” we heard from Robin Margolis of The Half-Jewish Network. Robin writes: I gather that you are the parent of a child of intermarriage. But you don’t think there are half-Jewish people and are worried that your daughter might think of herself…

Naked Cowboy Theology

The Naked Cowboy, a Times Square fixture, turns out to be something of a theologian. Don’t ask me how I got there, but I just stumbled onto the Writings page on his website, which features six original books, all free to download in different formats. They outline the kind of philosophy of life that, now…

Have You Heard of Rashi?

The day my essay, “The Self-Thinking Thought,” appeared on the New York Times blog Happy Days, I received a letter that went thusly: I read your blog on Anselm; quite interesting. Your name sounds Jewish, and although you said you are Catholic, do you have Jewish ancestry? What do you know about Rashi, the great…

This Pyramid Is Potentially Any Human Being’s Grave

Let’s face it: you want to be buried in a pyramid. Who doesn’t? This summer, while searching for the meaning of paradise in Costa Rica, my associate and I came upon an American woman who had built a pyramid right next to her Egyptian-themed house, perhaps precisely for this purpose. (Alert! Alert! Exclusive first-glimpse of…

Ginormous Academicus

Earlier this month I had the pleasure to tell you about the Chronologium Academicus, a remarkable poster that a man named Guy Cutrufo has devised in the hopes of helping to restore academic knowledge to its rightful place against the onslaught of mindless celebrity culture—“An Antidote for Trivia,” it says. Well, now Guy has done…

Dot-com Ramayana

I’ve finally gone and done it and seen Nina Paley’s remarkable animated film Sita Sings the Blues, an adaptation of the great Indian epic the Ramayana juxtaposed with a story of modern heartbreak. Mixed in too are the sultry sob songs of Annette Hanshaw and narration by a trio of shadow puppets. You need to…

“Is God Dead?” Guy Dead

John T. Elson, the journalist who wrote the article behind Time magazine’s famous “Is God Dead?” cover in 1966, just, well, died. The New York Times obituary reports: The issue caused an uproar, equaled only by John Lennon’s offhand remark, published in a magazine for teenagers a few months later, that the Beatles were more…

Revolution Starts with a Poster

It is to Academia and Time, What a World Map is to Geography and Place! This evening we had the pleasure of hearing from Guy Cutrufo about his magnificent creation with a magnificent Latin name, the Chronologium Academicus. It’s a $65, 53.25″ x 73.25″-inch, laminated poster that collects and organizes the sum of all academic…