Bored at Work? We Can Help!

by Nora Connor For anyone who's wearing out their go-to internet-based procrastination safety blankets, I've got your back! In the form of the Wikileaks U.S. Embassy cables
The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment

by David Halperin All were extraordinary, in ways that did hardly a speck of good for any of them. All came to bad ends. The myth they created fared better.

Sacrilege: an excerpt from Austin Dacey’s The Future of Blasphemy

We do not know what the first blasphemer said. We do know that he was a stranger who came among the Israelites.
At the Heart of Societies

At the Heart of Societies

From Michel Foucault's The Subject and Power (1982)

Trembling Before the Internet

From Zackery Sholem Berger's new article at Tablet, "Hasidic Writers, Plugged In": But there are also those who have decidedly not converted, who have not fled their communities. They hew to ideals they do not support because they are not yet ready to leave, or because they never will. Such a life can be exquisitely...

The Truth About “Jim Wallis”

What does the NYTimes‘ Elisabeth Bumiller do when presented with a story that reveals cracks in the Christian right? Why, she calls Jim Wallis, of course. Wallis, who possesses the power to channel the thoughts of several million non-Republican evangelicals, has become a quote machine, a stock figure in any news story about what the...

“But Marriage is No Sacrament.”

From Gary Wills' new article at New York Review of Books:
The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the secular authorities of the Roman Empire, since marriage is a legal concern for the legitimacy of heirs. When the Empire became Christian under Constantine, Christian emperors continued the imperial...

Islam’s Mighty Wind

From Peter Brown's review of the Met's "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th-9th Century)," at The New York Review of Books:
The exhibition takes us to the heart of this great detonation. It embraces the last century of the pre-Islamic Middle East and the first two centuries of Islam. To our surprise, we do...

The Fallen Catholic DeLillo

From the Los Angeles Review of Books, a review of Don DeLillo's The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories, by Cornel Bonca:
The fallen Catholic DeLillo began to find a way to write about certain inescapable promptings of "awe" and "wonder" that were so insistent that they qualified as spiritual intimations. I'd argue that it's no accident...

An Art Critic in Ethiopia

From Holland Cotter's article on his visit to the sunken churches of Lalibela:
A priest, in white, stood at a lectern and read aloud from an illuminated book as a European video crew fussed with sound checks, then asked him, please, to start again. To an outsider the general impression was confusing, disconcerting. Can this...

Our Rabbi

Rachel Barenblat at Velveteen Rabbi summarizes last Saturday’s Bloggercon session on religion and blogging.

Intubated Women, Catholic Health Care and What it Means to be Alive

The Catholic Church understands far better than patients’ rights advocates do how religion, gender and sexuality work in society. If the debate about health care were focused on men’s bodies, the Church understands there would be a resounding call to make their hospitals subject to legal and medical standards. But because it’s about...