Religion

RECENT REVIEWS

Is God Necessary?

Is God Necessary?

Had I asked “Is God necessary?” a few centuries ago, I would have probably been stoned to death or burned alive. In some corners of the globe that would still be true today. Yet it is undeniable t...

A Mother Where?

A Mother Where?

When I look at my Savior […] I see someone who showed what true, equal love looks like, and I do not think that His church is where I should have learned about inequality for the first time. — 17...

A Matter of Trust

A Matter of Trust

BELIEF IS NOT what you think. In either sense. The word has an interesting history, which tells us much about ourselves. Nowadays belief is often viewed as simply a feeble form of knowing, as in “...

A Bloody Affair

A Bloody Affair

IN 1899 an international peace conference was held in The Hague to decide the laws of war. One topic discussed was the devastating armaments being used by European armies to subdue their overseas col...

Gronking Jesus

Gronking Jesus

THE LOST GOSPEL is not the worst book ever written. I once attended a party where I was subjected to an excerpt of dinosaur erotica. It was a lovely gathering otherwise, but my ears were assaulted by...

Mystical Assassinations

Mystical Assassinations

IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, assassination is a deed first done by Macbeth. The word appears in Shakespeare’s tragedy early in the 17th century, at the same time that related words like “assassin” a...

Holy Terrors

Holy Terrors

TO ANY AUDIENCE reading after September 11, 2001, it is not at all necessary to explain why it is important to parse the relationship between martyrdom and terrorism. If martyrs are always good, terr...

Atheism and Its Discontents

Atheism and Its Discontents

ONE OF THE DEFINING intellectual trends in recent history has been the salvo of anti-religious fervor that first rang out about a decade ago. Spearheaded by Sam Harris’s The End of Faith (2004), Ri...

Of Good Horses and Bad Science

Of Good Horses and Bad Science

STEVE JONES, a former geneticist at the Galton Laboratory (University College London) is one of the foremost popular science writers and presenters in Great Britain. In his new book, The Serpent’s P...

The Discreet Charm of Polytheism

The Discreet Charm of Polytheism

HERE IS THE EVOLUTION of religion, as we understand it: For a while, we believed in magic. Not only did we believe in it, but we believed that it was us who made the sun rise, the crops ripen, and t...

The Beloved

The Beloved

IN HIS ENGAGING new book, David: The Divided Heart, Rabbi David Wolpe states that “David is the first person in history whose tale is complete and vital, laced with passions, savagery, hesitation, b...

Solar Wisdom

Solar Wisdom

IT IS NOT very common that a work of philosophy that deals with beauty is itself beautifully written. David E. Cooper’s Sunlight on the Sea: Reflecting on Reflections is one such work. The author’...

The Beautiful, Awful Game of Football

The Beautiful, Awful Game of Football

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO completed his Confessions at the close of the fourth century. In this deeply personal account, the first autobiography in the Western tradition, he recounts his love for his friend ...