musings, news, events, and your letters to the editors


Take Up and Read

The best religion book of 2007 is finally in a bookstore near you. Two longtime friends of KtB, Scott Korb and Peter Bebergal, have teamed up to write the most honest account of what it means to struggle with belief — and toward it, and away from it — that we’ve read in years. The…


Beyond Nepotism

We rarely publish poetry here at KtB, but this week one of our own (which is to say me, Laurel Snyder, the person typing this) has released a book of poems.  A book of poems called, “The Myth of the Simple Machines”. And because a few of these poems are kinda relig-ish, and because such…


Marching the Buddha

If monks in Myanmar weren’t marching against the military junta this week, they would likely be taking part in a march of another kind. Late September is traditionally the time for one of Myanmar’s largest religious festivals, held just 100 miles north of Yangon, epicenter of the protests and scene of increasingly violent government response.…

Killing the Buddha

Reader Mail

“Good evening, I had not thought of the Louvin Brothers in a long time. Not that they had gone anywhere, I had. I started to review their song list and immediately grabbed a pen and started to write the words to “Praying,” “River of Jordan” and “Last Chance to Pray,” etc. You see I used…

Killing the Buddha

Divinity & Disgust

The question of where morality comes from remains a bee in the bonnet of both religionists and philosophers. Or perhaps it only seems so because we’ve lately been reading a few books on the subject. What emerges from this reading is nagging feeling that talking about the origins of morality is a way of talking…

Killing the Buddha

Happy Ethiopian New Year!

Yes, we know that it is also Rosh Hashanah, but we’ve published so much already about the Jewish High Holidays that we thought it was time to blow another new year’s horn. That it happens to Ethiopia’s big day is convenient because it gives us a chance to tip our hat to some music that…

Killing the Buddha

Two Types of Other

We’ve just received an email asking us to clarify our religious affiliation by choosing one of the options on this long and peculiar menu: NO – None BP – Baptist BU – Buddhist CA – Catholic CG – Congregational DC – Disciples of Christ EP – Episcopal HI – Hindu IS – Islam JE –…

Killing the Buddha

Locked Up; Thrown Out

Six years ago today, sitting in front of a television with the rest of the country, we jotted down a few thoughts that soon became a reflection on the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Two wars later, we see some of the strange fruit those attacks planted: news of the ongoing purge of religion…

Killing the Buddha

A Final Wrinkle

KtB’s own Laurel Snyder has a lovely remembrance of Madeleine L’Engle at Salon. “Nothing was enough for L’Engle,” Laurel writes. “As an author, she danced with demanding philosophical questions and toyed with quantum physics. She wrote about faith with devotion, dabbled in ethics, psychology, myth, art, politics and nature…” She did it all for an…

Killing the Buddha

Death & Virtue: Billy & Woody

We here at KtB had an interesting weekend, quite by accident spending some time with a couple of unexpectedly complementary classics: After Virtue and Love and Death. The former, Alasdair MacIntyre’s critique of contemporary ethical theory, we had not read before and even now would have preferred to avoid. The latter, Woody Allen’s great take-off…


Heady Days

There’s nothing particularly religious about the recent record-breaking sale of a jewel-encrusted platinum skull by Order Cheap Cialis the British artist Damien Hirst. Yes, its $100 million price tag may be religious in the “Holy Shit!” sense, but beyond that it just seems silly that so much could be made of a glorified paperweight: Certainly…

Killing the Buddha

We Kill the Goat, You Decide

This just in from Fox News: Nepal Airlines has sacrificed two goats as part of its efforts to keep an older 757 in the air. Silly flying Hindus! Don’t they know the Sky God prefers Chinese SU-27 fighter jets? (Keep the sound on for this one…) But seriously folks, why is it that a story…

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Relics & Renovations

One of the reasons KtB has seemed dead these past few months is that we (some of us, anyway) were off on a lengthy Near Eastern adventure. We spent much of the trip in Istanbul, light-headed with nargila smoke and ears-ruptured by over-exposure to roving bands of Ottoman Army reenactors: Turkey at the time was…

Killing the Buddha

Buddha Mail

Killing the Buddha welcomes all manner of correspondence. Some of it we like to share with the world. If you don’t want your letter posted here, please tell us so.

Seeing Ourselves 9-11-01

Seeing Ourselves

Editor’s note: Five years ago, early on the morning of September 11, 2001, I was riding a bus through Boston, reading a piece recently submitted to Killing the Buddha. I don’t recall much else about the hours and minutes before 8:46 AM that day, but I do remember loving the submission: a strange, beautiful essay…