Evangelical Anxiety

We did not do therapy. “Psychoheresy,” some called it.

Grace Period

Losing Our Selves, But Never Getting Lost

An excerpt from KtB e-book Grace Period: A Memoir In Pieces.

by giveawayboy, via Flickr

Singing to Jesus with Eyes Closed

You would think Berkeley had suddenly transformed into an Evangelical school.

Killing the Buddha

Heart and Head

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself sitting at a conference table in a Chicago convention center, along with a couple dozen strangers, tears streaming down my face. How embarrassing! It was awkward enough to be a civilian at the Academy of American Religion conference, intimidated by the advance reading packet for this Religion…


Oprah-atic Citizenship

I’m really excited to announce that my interview with Kathryn Lofton, one of the most creative and brilliant young scholars of religion around right now, is now up at The Immanent Frame. Katie is a historian by trade, but over the years she has also cultivated a powerful fascination with Oprah, leading to her new…


King’s Students Respond

We’ve already been receiving a flurry of letters responding to Jonathan D. Fitzgerald’s essay about The King’s College in the Empire State Building, “Whose College?” Reid Rogers, in Auburn, Alabama, offered some grateful words: I am a former King’s College student, though not a graduate. After reading your article, I feel you have articulated much…

"Empire State Building" by Johan Hansson, via Flickr.

Whose College?

God, money, and power beneath the Empire State Building.

Killing the Buddha

No Country for Bold Men

In the face of capricious violence, what kinds of heroes should we seek? This is the rich question being debated over the internet by two unlikely interlocutors: Stanley Fish, a humanities professor and heady New York Times blogger, and Dan Gagliasso, a screenwriter, director, and enthusiast of western films. The conversation began with Gagliasso’s review…

Killing the Buddha

Hear Robby George Call Cornel West “My Brother”

On a new diavlog, Princeton professors Robert P. George (leading Catholic conservative and sex advisor) and Cornel West (supreme lover and taxicab philosopher) find amazing amounts of agreement on questions of human dignity, from the commodification of society to abortion. They’re both even wearing black three-piece suits. Do the left and right disagree about…

Killing the Buddha

Can Religion Save You from Marketing?

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. – Ephesians 6:16 The upcoming issue of Marketing Science features a paper of interest to the devout, the atheist, and everyone in between. “Brands: The Opiate of the Non-Religious Masses?” is the result of…


Studying Religion Is Revolutionary in China

Like pretty much everything else over there right now, religion is a growth industry in China. After decades of official repression a whole bunch of new religious movements—and, even more, new forms of old religions—are gathering steam. Trying to get a handle on this from back here in New York, I did an interview with…

Killing the Buddha

Meaning of Life 101, with a Minor in Cheese

Four years ago, when I told my parents that I was planning on majoring in religion, I didn’t know that I was just being trendy. A friend just sent me this article from last week’s Newsweek Education section about how majoring in religion has become an increasingly popular choice among American college students. According to…

"Each war is different, each war is the same," by kevindooley, via Flickr.

Vive la Différence

Stephen Prothero on why all religions aren’t, deep down, all the same.

The back cover of Zizek's "The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity"

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,…

Workmen take down the AAR welcome signs.

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

Studying Mormons at Harvard

I would personally like to offer a prize* to the first scholar to complete a thorough dissertation on the young Saint and true heroine, Miss Elizabeth Smart @ *The prize is the Mary Valle Award for Contemporary Scholarship in Sainthood** **Which is a poem in your honor and three shiny quarters


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…

Killing the Buddha

Eliade’s Bacon

The night before the National Media Prayer Breakfast, I checked into a hotel by the airport and settled down with a book I’d bought the previous day at a used bookstore in Salem, Oregon. It was The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual Within Life…