Here’s a safe assumption: most people in the Western world believe in at least one pervasive, life-defining myth. This myth underlies our daily lives. Where we live and work, who we associate with, and how we define ourselves are shaped by this myth. I could very well be talking about religion, and certainly life in the […]
American evangelicalism is anti-intellectual. Such a view has enjoyed fairly wide currency since Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. In Apostles of Reason, Molly Worthen attempts to correct this view, but not by rejecting it outright. She shows how American evangelicals have been engaged in a range of intellectual projects – institutions, magazines, […]
You may think you’re sitting at your computer (or staring at your phone) and browsing the internet, but you’re actually wandering around in the wilderness. Think Moses and the Israelites in the desert post-Egypt, pre-Promised Land. Or, if you prefer a less Biblical analogy, think Odysseus making his 10-year journey back to Ithaca. […]
Below is the email I sent to the trustees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in response to the firing of professor Steven Salaita over his controversial tweets. Corey Robin has done some heroic work combing through the latest documents that show intense outside pressure on the administration to […]
Here’s a question you may or may not have ever considered, depending primarily on whether you have children or are around children very often:
Why do we teach babies to make animal sounds as some of their first “words?”
My wife and I, and we’ve noticed, all of our friends with toddlers, spend a lot of […]
I began my media career about seven years ago as an unabashed internet enthusiast. As I’ve said before, I never worked in print journalism and had little nostalgia for the world that was entering free fall as I did my first internship at an online publication. By then, the internet had already provided […]
As reports trickled out of northern Iraq last week about the living hell that ISIS had brought to earth for hundreds of thousands of Christians and Yazidis, one detail kept coming up in the stories that haunted my social media feeds: They’re beheading children.
If it was true, it was a damning detail worthy of […]
What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on […]
I read a lot of things I disagree with, but this post on Richard Dawkins by The Spectator’s Damian Thompson stands out as one of the more brazenly dishonest ones I’ve encountered in a while. Dawkins is currently in hot water with feminists and others for tweeting about rape, and a few people, […]
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
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