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,…

Killing the Buddha

Planning Is a New Variety of the Sin of Pride

Jean-Luc Marion wrote, at the opening of his book God without Being, “One must admit that theology, of all writing, certainly causes the greatest pleasure.” Today, at the remarkable online journal Triple Canopy, I’ve got an essay that’s about the closest thing I’ve so far come to writing theology. It’s called “Divine Wilderness.” It is…

Is God Dead?

“Is God Dead?” Guy Dead

John T. Elson, the journalist who wrote the article behind Time magazine’s famous “Is God Dead?” cover in 1966, just, well, died. The New York Times obituary reports: The issue caused an uproar, equaled only by John Lennon’s offhand remark, published in a magazine for teenagers a few months later, that the Beatles were more…

** File ** In this July 12, 2006 file photo Rick Warren, a pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Orange County, California is seen in Seoul, South Korea. Both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are scheduled to appear seperately at a forum at Warren's California megachurch Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008, spending one hour each with Warren, before coming together on stage for a handshake. The pastor, who does not endorse candidates, will be the only one asking questions.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Icons of the New Evangelicalism

Why all the little beards?

Killing the Buddha

Assumed into Heaven: Sleep Tight, Virgin Mary

  It’s late night after the feast day of the Assumption, as in the Virgin Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven, the day of her Dormition, “falling asleep,” dead to the world. Sometime between three and fifteen years after the Resurrection of Christ, the apostles were transported, white-cloud express, from Corinth, Jericho, Kalyan (ancient Bombay)—wherever they…

Killing the Buddha

the meaning of life, on this earth, for all of us

“larry hall – ganaraska think tank” (apparently a regular commenter on NYTimes blogs) wrote to us with an important revelation. The subject line was “deadline theology”—one of our rotating taglines on KtB. I guess that sparked something in him. Again another attempt to provide a map to salvation when we have already achieved it. It…

Killing the Buddha

Indian Pelagianism: Learn to Overpower Death

Among the opponents of Augustine of Hippo in the 4th and 5th centuries were the Pelagians—monks, mostly, who believed that salvation and eternal life could be accomplished by a finely-chiseled personal spirituality. In the process, Augustine set out the view that would come to be held by most Christians as orthodoxy, in one way or…

ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 01:  Delegates bow their heads on day one of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center September 1, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)   Original Filename: GYI0055603845.jpg

It’s the Theology, Stupid

Understanding the Republican disconnect, explained by one of the people who helped create it.

Killing the Buddha

Mary Gaitskill’s Private Theology

William Deresiewicz offers a damning assessment of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Mary Gaitskill, in The Nation. The problem, he says, is religion. Gaitskill has always been a religiously concerned writer, though it wasn’t immediately evident in books like Bad Behavior and Because They Wanted To. A former editor of Gaitskill’s tipped me off…

The man called Allah

The Man I Call Allah

Allah was born on February 22, 1928. His mother named him Clarence.

My Bible

The Pleasure of the Text

Jean-Luc Marion, at the outset of God without Being: One must admit that theology, of all writing, certainly causes the greatest pleasure. During the year of my becoming a Catholic, that frought and crazy and inevitable year, I bought a New Oxford Annotated Bible from my college bookstore. Its over two thousand pages flop between…

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?

Reinhold Niebuhr

Reading Niebuhr Instead

A Christian realist for the reality-based community.

John Kerry

John Kerry vs. Martin Luther

The Catholic Kerry preaches that it is Good Works, not Faith alone that justifies.

Page from the Gospel of Thomas, detail.

What It Is, What It Was

How many one true religions can dance on the head of a pin?

Bishop Sean O’Malley

The Archbishop’s New Clothes

The Catholic Church gets a makeover in Boston — but how deep does it go?

Abraham mourning for the death of Sarah (detail), Marc Chagall, 1931-1939


The new neocons ask: What would Abraham do?

Piss Christ (detail), Andre Serano, 1989

His So-Called Life

Pogroms, plagues, Jesus books… ‘Tis the season.