Posts Tagged: religion
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book Between the World and Me is a letter addressed to his son that America needs to read. New York profiles the author, whose fearless writing about race continues to hold readers accountable to history:
Coates’s writing takes an almost opposite position: that religion is blindness, and that if you strip away the talk of hope and dreams and faith and progress, what you see are enduring structures of white supremacy and no great reason to conclude that the future will be better than the past.
The Codex Gigas…contains the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as an assortment of other texts that tackle everything from practical instructions for exorcisms to seventh-century grammar tips written by Isidore, the scholar-turned saint of Seville.
Atlas Obscura examines the Codex Gigas, a strange tome weighing in at 165 pounds and better known as “the Devil’s Bible.”...more
The state of Indiana legalized discrimination last week allowing businesses to turn down customers for arbitrary reasons. Rumpus Essays Editor Emeritus Roxane Gay, who lives in Indiana, weighed in on the state of the state over at the Butter:
The Midwest, however, is not defined by ignorance.
Sometimes I envy Absalom. He had recourse. He had power. He raised up an army in his rage. He did something. He turned his rage into an insurrection. All I’ve ever done is turn my anger into words. How can a sister avenge her sister?
Salman Rushdie, no stranger to controversy, now finds himself under scrutiny from a different sort of institution: the Times Literary Supplement. Michael Caines, writing for TLS, takes issue with Rushdie’s recent use of the word “medieval” in a statement made about the Charlie Hebdo attacks....more
We’re only a few centuries and a small apocalyptic event away from isolated communities of huddled believers worshipping the gospels of Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, and Le Guin….Let’s not think about L Ron Hubbard.
In the Guardian, Damien Walter argues that science fiction is the religion of the future....more
What I should have learned back then, but did not, and in fact took at least another twenty years to fully learn, is that such claims are not at all about “demonic power,” “demonic possession,” or even “the Devil,” but are actually about demonization.
I think I was pretty nervous about it as a kid. I think I did [have] that fear of the world coming to an end. I think also it’s kind of how kids exist anyway, you know? You’re always fearing change; you’re always fearing the wrath of a parent; you’re always fearing that something is going to go wrong somewhere.
I realized that there were these others, these priests and clergy I always regarded as opponents, but they were on my side, and we were all wrestling with a narrative that didn’t work, a meaninglessness, a loss of sense—in fact, the germ of the book was my own surprise, at the death of my great lovely partner Jeff, when I rushed to the church to find something to salvage from that bonfire.
In an interview with Jonathan Lee at The Paris Review, Joshua Ferris addresses why his new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, “starts from the question of whether there’s a kind of private language and intimacy to religion that the mutt-y white guys like [him] are missing out on.” More personally, he worries, too, if “as a writer there’s something [he] missed out on” not growing up with a religious sensibility:
… religion offers a writer a tradition both to be nurtured in and to fight against, and that nurturing and that conflict can produce great literature.
What I remember most about church is all the sitting, standing, and kneeling, the stink of incense, the calm of the priest’s voice, the hard wooden pews, and not really understanding why every Sunday, I found myself, alongside my family, in the same place, mindlessly repeating prayers by rote....more