Category Archives: Religion

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon II: Easter in Zagreb

Over the long weekend I made a little more progress on Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. I’m going to keep at it in deliberately small increments so that I can stop and stare at the sentences. As it happens, one of the chapters I was just reading describes a visit to the Cathedral in Zagreb […]

Book Club: Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

Last night was the second meeting of the book club that first met in November to discuss Morley Callaghan’s Such Is My Beloved. In keeping with our plan of following some kind of thread from one book to the next, we moved from that sad story of failed religious idealism to a still sadder–but, perhaps, […]

Worth a Look or Listen: Louis Menand, Philosophers and Fiction, and the Dangers of Theism

I haven’t been keeping up my “Weekend Miscellany” posts for a while, so here’s a bit of a miscellany for a Tuesday evening instead: At Open Letters Monthly, Laura Tanenbaum reviews Louis Menand’s The Marketplace of Ideas: The basic facts will likely be familiar to current or recent graduate students: graduate school takes longer to […]

Being Good Without God

Our local bus company is refusing to carry ads from Humanist Canada because they “could be controversial and upsetting.” The dangerous text? “You can be good without God.” Controversial and upsetting? Isn’t this just a fact? Throughout history and around the world, people without a belief in “God” (by which, in common usage, we mean […]

George Eliot and Prayer

Further to my earlier post on George Eliot as the ‘friendly face of unbelief,’ here’s a passage that stood out to me as I was rereading Middlemarch this weekend for my classes: Lydgate rose, and Dorothea mechanically rose at the same time, unclasping her cloak and throwing it off as if it stifled her. He […]

Harris and Rushdie on Ayaan Hirsi Ali

From this week’s LA Times, a good op-ed piece by Sam Harris and Salman Rushdie, both of whom know something themselves about living with threats from religious fanatics: Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and […]

God’s Incompatible Warriors

I’ve just finished watching the three installments of Christiane Amanpour’s CNN series “God’s Warriors,” and although I appreciated the information and the varied perspectives the series offered us, I ended up frustrated (though not surprised) that the most important question of all was never asked (or at least never aired), namely, “What makes you so […]

George Eliot: The Friendly Face of Unbelief

I’ve read a number of reviews lately on the spate of books by the ‘new atheists,’ notably Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and, most recently, Christopher Hitchens. Among the many interesting features of these reviews is how often they protest against the tone of the books, even if they agree with their arguments. A lot of […]

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