musings, news, events, and your letters to the editors
Return, Reimagine, Ritualize, Rebel: How has 2020 changed your spiritual life?
KtB is inviting submissions about how the events of this year have impacted your spiritual life.
Religious Groups Stand With #BlackLivesMatter
In the aftermath of the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade, people across the nation have organized marches, vigils, monument removals, and sit-ins to protest racialized police violence. Religious groups are among those raising their voices.
Dispatches from Isolation, Vol. 1
Abandon most of your plans, except for the quiet house in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a promise of isolation that you desired before it was mandated.
The Empty Tomb
How could we anticipate something so seemingly simple as peace, when something as violent as a virus is tearing through our lives, our traditions, our loves?
Camus’ The Plague: Coronavirus Quotes
Do all you can to fight plague where you find it, and don’t forget to love: a selection of some of the most relevant quotes from Camus’ The Plague for a time of coronavirus.
The Times We’re Living In
Trying times are liminal times; they’re not meant to be a new normal. When we’re in one, we only know what came before and what we’re facing; we cannot know, yet, what comes next.
Perseverance of the Editors
I’ve always been startled by the variety of writing that appears between the digital “covers” of this magazine: features, criticism, commentary, fiction, and personal essays—but never anything so ordinary as all that for KtB.
Happy Birthday, Gordon and Poland!
It’s Gordon Haber’s birthday, and he’s giving you a gift. Several years back, we published his brief dispatch from Poland called “The Only Jew For Miles.” I noticed very quickly that marble is hard on the knees. Presumably, that was the point–a Christian pilgrimage is supposed to have some echo of Jesus’ agony. But I…
Bent Too Far: A Missionary, A Bookstore, A Change of Heart
In my last life, back in the late 1990s when I was a fundamentalist missionary in Papua New Guinea, I came upon the online magazine Killing the Buddha. Although I was quite aware that my life as a fundamentalist was nearly over, I did not know that I had about four years before any ontological…
KtB Wants You…To Write About the Eclipse
The total solar eclipse passing over the continental U.S. this August 21st is the first to do so in 99 years, but American eclipse stories go back much farther than that. It was a “Dark Day” in the spring of 1780 that apparently convinced Shaker leader Mother Ann Lee to “open” her revelation to new…
God, Mammon, Bathrooms, and Basketball
In the Tuesday-morning quiet of a Chapel Hill that will be riding high from its NCAA championship win last night for the foreseeable future, the news arrives that the NCAA has lifted its ban on hosting games in North Carolina. You’ve heard the story: HB 2, the North Carolina law requiring transgender people to use…
Uggs for Gaza
“After a few drinks, Mitch gleaned that Rafe and Joey were “just friends,” which he found encouraging. Less encouraging—downright puzzling, really—was when the conversation turned to environmental concerns, or their version of them. Rafe was dating a girl who studied the effects of secondhand smoke on cats. Joey’s niece just had a particular kind of…
Art in Dark Times: A (Made-Up) Solstice Ritual
Around this time of year, I often find myself telling people about the mixture of holidays I grew up celebrating as a child. My back-to-the-land hippie parents, one Jewish, one not, both fairly atheist, kept what they liked from their respective family traditions, and added some new ones of their own. My brother, sister, and…
The Klan Never Ends
When Gospel According to the Klan was published in 2011, the reactions to the book surprised me at first. I had some white people, including scholars, tell me that the Klan was an artifact of the past, or a fringe movement of little consequence. While I might have written about the 1920s Klan, they were…
We’ve Got the Torch Now
The small rural town where I went to high school had a newspaper and I looked on its classified section last year and there were three jobs. I’m not going to lie, I’m distraught over a Trump presidency, but I can understand the hopelessness of these people, because I have lived among them. I actually…
Election History, Second Draft
Killing the Buddha is going to have a lot to say in the coming weeks about the presidential election of a man best described as Voldemort. We will be bringing you first-person dispatches from the margins, as per usual, only just now a lot more of us are feeling “on the margins” than is usual.…