James Wood is a Harvard Professor of English, specializing in literary criticism, a practice he regularly engages in reviewing books for the New Yorker. I like his literary work because he seems an advocate of the outdated but still best form of criticism: “New Criticism”, in which works are taken as they are—as aesthetic expressions—not … Continue reading Blatant atheism in The New Yorker!
For reasons best known to the editors of the New York Times, they continue to give Tanya Luhrmann a paycheck (supplementing her funding from the Templeton Foundation) to write an apologetics column on evangelical Christianity. While refusing to divulge her own religious beliefs (she’s an anthropologist, after all), she tells the rest of us why we … Continue reading Tanya Luhrmann: Christian prohibition against premarital sex has its benefits
Reader Mark called my attention to the fact that John Templeton Foundation (JTF) has bestowed its annual Templeton Prize on someone who’s not only a deeply misguided religious philosopher, but also has promoted intelligent design and criticized naturalism. Yes, it’s Alvin Plantinga, an 84-year-old emeritus professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and also a professor at Calvin College … Continue reading Templeton abandons pretense of rationality, awards Templeton Prize to Alvin Plantinga, intelligent-design advocate
What on earth has happened to the New York Times? I can’t imagine that it’s suffering from a dearth of contributors, as America is full of good journalists and writers with lots to say and no place to say it. Instead, the paper hires Tanya Luhrmann to write regular pieces on its Op-Ed page, pieces that are … Continue reading Tanya Luhrmann in the NYT: I melted a bicycle light with my mind!
As newspapers throughout the U.S. go belly up, there are only a few—actually one—that still represent high-quality journalism. And that one is The New York Times. Yes, it is still the go-to paper if you want substance and intellectual viands, but it seems to me to be on the decline as well. The science pages … Continue reading Tanya Luhrmann and the decline of the New York Times
I was quite heartened yesterday to see an established New York Times columnist, Frank Bruni, go after Catholicism—and faith in general. After all, the good gray Times isn’t known for criticizing religion: it’s the home of Ross Douthat, of Tanya Luhrmann, and various others who osculate the rump of faith. The lesson the paper and its writers … Continue reading Movie “Spotlight” opens, and a NYT columnist uses it to criticize religion’s privilege
I realized that the hyper-Christian (and pro-creationist) Bob Jones University was close to where I was going to talk yesterday (Furman University), so I asked my hosts to take me to BJU. I did so in the fervent hope that I could at last find Jesus, for if he’s real, he’s surely at Bob Jones University. Sadly, … Continue reading Signs from above and below
The recent Pew Report on “America’s changing religious landscape” showed, over the last 7 years, a sharp decline in adherents to mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in the U.S., and a corresponding increase in the numbers of religiously “unaffiliated” (the latter went from 16.1% in 2007 to 22.8% last year). Now, not all of the “unaffiliated” are nonbelievers: … Continue reading The tenacity of belief in belief
UPDATE: Over at The New Republic, Isaac Chotiner also takes out after today’s Luhrmann piece. He also excoriates her for her last paragraph: No one is saying that spirituality can be made to “go away,” and whether it does has nothing to do with whether ghosts actually exist. But for people like Luhrmann, the whole … Continue reading Tanya Luhrmann jumps the shark of religion
I’ve been wondering for a while—and I’m not alone—why venues like The New York Times and The New Yorker, the newspaper and magazine that have the highest reputation for quality and sophistication in the U.S., are so wonky about atheism. They either ignore it (the NYT sporadically gives it a tiny nod), or, when they mention … Continue reading Why are “sophisticated” newspapers, websites, and magazines so clueless about atheism?