Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theme: Christianity

  • Many scholars have noted the broad resemblances between this Cynic gesture, on the one hand, and, on the other, the various universalist, and therefore necessarily transnational, religious movements that appeared in the so-called Axial Age, not least Buddhism and Christianity. Both sought to establish the global validity of their central truth claims, and in so doing to break the historical link to a given culture.Read more
  • I have declined, and continue to decline, to reply to many of the diverse points of criticism directed against my profession of faith, which I released into the world a month or so ago. I had thought it would be clear that there is a sort of writing that does not invite arguments in opposition, but simply says lo! behold! ecce!, and carries with it an implied Whitmanian ass-covering: "You say I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself!"Read more
  • I have very fond memories from the 1990s of listening to a friend’s Gujarati Indian immigrant family butcher Christmas carols. It was an annual Christmas Eve tradition for these religious Hindus. Each year, with women on one side of the room and men on the other, the genders separated by the large, decorated tree, they joyously worked their way through about a half-dozen classics. Read more
  • It was wrong to boast, but in the beginning, my plan was perfect. I was assigned to cover the Cross-Over festival in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.Read more
  • It’s 1994, and Michael Stipe recently lost his religion. It’s before Bieber and bling, before ordering a latte required six qualifying adjectives.Read more
  • Only a zealous and informed scavenger could have found and assembled scribbled fragments which eventually became the published prison letters by the best-remembered German cleric who gave his life in the anti-Nazi causeRead more
  • In America, some fundamental Christians believe that man has a God-given right to use the earth and all its resources to meet their needs. After all, Genesis says so.Read more
  • Chesterton's metaphysical thriller The Man Who Was Thursday is subtitled A Nightmare, a coda that indicates the author's unease. The novel gives the lie to his Christian faith in a meaningful universe. In an article published on 13 June 1936, the day before he died, he insisted that a nightmare was all that the book recounted: "It was not intended to describe the real world as it was, or as I thought it was . . . It was intended to describe the world of wild doubt and despair, which the pessimists were generally describing at that date." Read more
  • The Church has always been wary, regarding cards not merely as the route to gambling, but also as “the Devil’s picture-book” because of their association with dark practices like fortune-telling. Tarot cards, in particular, were disdained for their mystical associations, even though their occult functions were developed only in the 18th century, while in many countries they have been used for over 500 years for playing a popular game. Read more
  • Nietzsche himself turns out to have been a likable sort of guy. Despite his over-the-top persona as an “antichrist”, he always “remained a Christian”, according to Young, if not theologically then at least “emotionally.” And despite his hatred of slipshod scholarship, he had no truck with the petty pedantry of the “anal-retentive control-freak”. Politically, he was not really an individualist, still less a disagreeable elitist or an apostle of violence: he would have hated the “war on terror” and “mass hysteria” over “the death of Princess Di”, and as an advocate of “soft” power he would have opposed the invasion of Iraq; indeed for all his affectations of belligerence, he would have shunned the “neo-cons” and “supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament”.Read more
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