reviews and commentary

Initiation of an apprentice Freemason around 1800.

Modernity’s Fraternity

Why the new Dan Brown book is a love letter to the Freemasons.

By macten via Flickr

Why I Love Lucy

High hopes for the first woman’s Times Square debut.

Las Vegas, Nevada. Built in 1938.

The False Science

Testing the limits of tolerance on a psychic’s new book.

Killing the Buddha

The Little Servant of God

A new BBC documentary introduces the gospel’s most adorable foot soldier.


Silent Infidelity

Lust and love in the Mennonite Church.

By JeDi58 via Flickr

Woman, Behold Your Son

What’s so good about Good Friday, anyway?


The Best Books Media of 2008

Forget the standard litany of the best-selling books and most popular movies…


Waiting for Lefty

If the Religious Left is to lift, everyone counts — the soccer moms and sex workers, the cowboy preachers and radical faeries, and you.

Marilynne Robinson

The Duty of a Daughter

In Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, forgiveness and grace come wrapped in a custard pie.

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…


Articulate Enemy

Is there a nice way to call someone a fool? Sam Harris doesn’t think so.
A review of his new book, Letter to a Christian Nation.

"The images dissolve into each other..."

For God and Country

When an outsider goes to church on the Fourth of July, fireworks follow.

"Pop religion sells."

Brand Name Buddhism

For Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, it’s alright to get a little dirty, so long as you know which detergent will get your karma clean.

Shoah Memorial,  Jerusalem

Revising Night: Elie Wiesel and the Hazards of Holocaust Theology

Editors’ note: This essay was first published in April 2001, long before Oprah’s Book Club chose Night as its latest selection. Yet especially in light of doubts concerning the reliability of Oprah’s previous pick, the question raised here remains relevant: In making the Holocaust a matter of theological concern, does Elie Wiesel’s classic memoir court historical revisionism?


Running, Returning

Can a psychedelic rock band conjure real transcendence?

Reinhold Niebuhr

Reading Niebuhr Instead

A Christian realist for the reality-based community.

"What makes this night different from every other night?"

Sabbath Queen

On Friday nights, God likes to watch.

Will Oldham

When We Were Ambiguous

The almost-breaking point of Will Oldham.