S. Brent Plate

S. Brent Plate is a writer, editor, and part-time college professor at Hamilton College. Recent books include A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects: Bringing the Spiritual To Its Senses (Beacon Press) and Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World (Columbia University Press). His essays have appeared at Salon, The Los Angeles Review of Books, America, The Christian Century, and The Islamic Monthly. More at www.sbrentplate.net or on Twitter @splate1.

Recent Posts by S. Brent

Thomas Cole-Pilgrim of the World

Apocalyptabuse, or How to Survive “The End”

Call this fantasized thinking apocalyptabuse: the demoralizing mythic-psychic warfare that deprives people of hope, makes us fear that The End is near, and thereby cuts off our aspirations of any earthly life to come.

Fascism and Art

The bombing of Guernica, and Picasso’s response, 80 years on.

The Trouble with (Holy) Saturday

What is Holy Week for an Unholy Family?

Gods With Wet Noses

We are human because they are dog.

Still Slowing Down for Poetry: For Mark Strand, 1934-2014

As I crawled my way out of college, and started stretching toward graduate studies, I stumbled on an essay in the New York Times Book Review. I’d never heard of the author, a poet named Mark Strand, but the title caught my fancy, “Slow Down for Poetry.” It was a mantra that I desperately wanted…

Calvary Won’t Set you Free

Small parables about the possibilities of life beyond Catholicism.

Jesus’s Pinch Hitter: The Leftovers Episode 4

The opening sequence of this week’s The Leftovers (episode 4) was the best scene yet in a series that still seems unsure of what it wants. Opening shots show mysterious bubbly goop and mechanical processes that are soon revealed to be the machinations for making latex baby-doll heads. The heads are matched with eyes and…

Stones As Social Media

Adapted from A History of Religion in 5 ½ Objects (Beacon Press, March 11th)

Faith as Addiction?

Re-viewing Oscar nominee Steve McQueen’s Shame

Visualizing the Cosmos

Terrence Malick and an imaginary history of the universe.

Car Culture Audio

The purposeless driven life of Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.