popular culture

Anna Nussbaum Keating

Not Weird Enough

According to the author of a new Catholic handbook, eucharistic adoration should be the new yoga.

Killing the Buddha

Mormon Fashion Bloggers Speak

Mormons have been in the zeitgeist of late, what with Mitt running, the Book of Mormon winning Tonys, and The New York Times writing about Mormon hipsters. They’re so widely seen as behind the times, though, that a recent skinny jean snafu at Brigham Young University in Idaho inspired nationwide reportage. A few months ago…


Tune in to Frequencies!

Everyone talks about “spirituality,” but less often is it especially clear what we (or they) actually mean. That’s why, together with The Immanent Frame and the historians of religion Kathryn Lofton and John Lardas Modern, Killing the Buddha has been quietly working since the beginning of the year to develop Frequencies, a new online “collaborative genealogy…

Photo by the author.

Gods of the Whole Earth

There’s just something about the current MoMA exhibit “Access to Tools: The Whole Earth Catalog” (closing Tuesday!). I’ve written elsewhere about The Whole Earth Catalog and my family, most recently for the forthcoming Frequencies project, where I consider it as a spiritual object.  The MoMA exhibit didn’t take that stance, exactly, but the very experience of visiting…

Screening Room.

Mobilize and Contemplate

What’s spiritually at stake in The Tree of Life?

Killing the Buddha

Madonna’s Guilt, Gaga’s Monsters, Lewis’s Plan All Along

Sez The Atlantic‘s Spencer Kornhaber, in a piece on Lady Gaga’s theology: Gaga-Madonna comparisons […] are played out—yes, both singers are ethnic Italians, raised Catholic, and artistically chameleonic—but remain instructive. For example, compare Born This Way with 1989’s Like a Prayer. Both are self-consciously artsy statements that lean heavily on their creators’ Catholic backgrounds. But Like a Prayer…

Lookalikes of Kate Middleton, Britain's Prince William and Queen Elizabeth stand outside a church during a media event in London. From Reuters.

Prince William Ate My Religion

The royal wedding is a reminder of what’s wrong with Anglicanism.

Killing the Buddha

Hollywood Messes with Christianity, Too

In another letter about Eric Scott’s “Valhal-Mart,” Alexandra Erin writes: I really have to disagree with the contention near the end of Eric Scott’s posting “Valhal-Mart”. While it must be remembered that Christianity enjoys a very privileged position in our culture and thus can’t claim to be injured by off-target pop culture depictions, the fact…


How to Instigate a God Debate

Last week I had the chance to catch what was probably the biggest God debate of the year, in this genre of blockbuster, YouTubed, college-campus bouts. The topic was “Is Good from God?”—is religion necessary for objective morality? The debaters were William Lane Craig, the evangelical philosopher, and Sam Harris, who launched the New Atheism…

"Nature's Paradise"

Let There Be (the Painter of) Light™

Doubting Thomas Kinkade.

Courtesy of the internet meme.

Cutting It Out

Watching movies with Mormons.

Mike Warnke's "Coming Home"

Wicked Funny

The pseudo-ex-Satanist Mike Warnke and me.

Killing the Buddha

Awesome and Full of Dread

Fall is past its peak in my neighborhood. The legacy fall is leaving behind: literally, leaves. Heaps and piles of leaves. Leaf towers so high you could hide a small marching band inside them. The biggest leaf pile of all currently rests across the street from my house. It was cleverly and carefully built around…

Killing the Buddha

The Vatican: Hip to the Simpsons

Dear Vatican, There’s a class at my local Learning Annex I think might be interesting for all your holinesses? It’s called “A Crash Course in Not Seeming Desperate.” No, you’re not desperate. But people might think Holy Newpaper’s forays into hot pop-culture topics as Harry Potter and the Simpsons are, well, a little too contemporary…

Note to cancer by author.

That’s Cancertainment!

Sexy corpses and smug survivors: cancer gets its own TV show.

Dylan's synagogue

Opportunity to Stalk Bob Dylan’s Bar Mitzvah

Calling all Bob Dylan fans: a once in a lifetime opportunity just surfaced on Craigslist! That’s right! For a limited time only, you can actually purchase a rare, reliquary piece of Dylan’s history: the synagogue building where Robert Zimmerman was first called to the Torah as a man. [Insert “Blowin’ in the Wind” parody here.…

The Gospel According to Superman

The Gospel Not According to Superman

I was tricked; John T. Galloway, Jr. pulled a fast one. He opens The Gospel of Superman (1973) with a galvanizing statement of purpose: “It is not my intent in this book to find the gospel in Superman. Rather I seek to find the gospel where it can best be found—in scripture and in the…

Click the cover to buy the book.

Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll: Live in New York

Old-time Buddha-killer Joel Heng Hartse has a new book coming out in a few days, Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll: My Life on Record, and those of you in New York can catch him live for a reading. October 15th, 7 p.m., at All Things Project at the Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village. That’s…