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Posts tagged "Adam Gopnik"


Another Week Ends: Walser’s Wounds, Diet Supremacists, Homeless Christ, Hart’s Lament, Flat Circus, Mad Men, Parenthood, and The Secret Sisters

1. Much of value comes across one’s desk during Holy Week, and this year was no exception. But the sources are seldom the expected ones. What stopped me in my tracks this week was an interview The European conducted with prominent German intellectual Martin Walser on “Kafka, Faith and Atheism” (and Karl Barth), which was […]

Another Week Ends: Self-Making Atheists, Structural Dating, Indiscriminate Addiction, Christian Metal, Guilty Pleasures, and Failed Figure Skaters

1. In The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik took the release of two new books about the history of atheism to issue one of his periodic ‘state of modern belief” pieces. Most of the word count is devoted to the question of when the burden of proof definitively shifted from atheists to believers (The Onion weighs […]

Another Week Ends: Advent Mudballs, Freaks and Geeks, Christian Pariahs, Yiddish Petraeus, Hitchcock Communion, Scott Walker and Super Wolf

1. Not sure exactly what The American Interest is, but Walter Russell Mead’s reflection on the meaning of Advent is the most moving and poetic thing I’ve read on the subject this season, ht TH: As a kid I could never understand why Advent was a season of fasting and solemnity in the church rather […]

Dehumanization and the Human Mind

Kicking off a day full of neuroscience is the review in the NY Times of philosopher David Livingstone Smith’s new book, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others. Those familiar with Smith’s work, for example Why We Lie and The Most Dangerous Animal, will not be surprised to find his original sin […]

Winston Churchill on Appeasement

From Adam Gopnik’s write-up of the latest crop of Churchill literature in one of this past summer’s New Yorkers, a pretty radical departure from the rhetoric Winnie normally gets credit for (ht JD: What is Churchill’s true legacy? Surely not that one should stand foursquare on all occasions and at all moments against something called […]

The New Yorker on Modern (Re-)Interpretations of Jesus

For all you New Yorker readers out there, I’d like to recommend an interesting (though unsurprising) article in this week’s issue entitled “What Did Jesus Do?”.  The premise of the article is a familiar one: to strip away all the tradition and fairy tales of Christian tradition, and get back to who the historical Jesus […]

Salinger as Preacher: Clear Speech and Childlike Enchantment

While we’re on the topic of preaching pointers from surprising places…

Adam Gopnik’s brief piece in the Feb. 8 issue of The New Yorker, makes some observations about the late J.D. Salinger’s work which are extremely applicable to preaching. Gopnik writes:

“The message of [Salinger’s] writing was always the same: that, amid the malice and falseness of social life, redemption rises from clear speech and childlike enchantment, from all the forms of unself-conscious innocence that still surround us… 

Writing, real writing, is done not from some seat of fussy moral judgment but with the eye and ear and heart…”

How To Make A Funeral More Depressing

There was a thought-provoking piece on NPR this morning about the rising popularity of “non-religious” songs being chosen for funerals. Interestingly, the song at the top of the list was Sinatra’s “My Way”. Here are the lyrics: My WayAnd now, the end is near;And so I face the final curtain.My friend, Ill say it clear,Ill […]