Religion

Ghost in the Cloud

Ghost in the Cloud

Transhumanism’s simulation theology

A new, more pernicious thought had come to dominate my mind: transhumanist ideas were not merely similar to theological concepts but could in fact be the events described in the Bible. It was only a short time before my obsession reached its culmination. I got out my old study Bible and began to scan the prophetic literature for signs of the cybernetic revolution. I began to wonder whether I could pray to beings outside the simulation. I had initially been drawn to transhumanism because it was grounded in science. In the end, I became consumed with the kind of referential mania and blind longing that animates all religious belief.

Turkey and the Headscarf Ban

Turkey and the Headscarf Ban

Taking one’s shoes off had become a signifier of where one stood on the secular-versus-religious divide.

On May 2, 1999, Merve Safa Kavakçı, a 31-year-old newly elected lawmaker from Istanbul, was to take the oath of office in Parliament, having won a seat two weeks earlier as a member of Turkey’s new Islamist party, the Virtue Party. The problem was that Kavakçı was among the few Turkish women in politics who wore a headscarf, and no woman had ever entered the Turkish Parliament in a headscarf before.

Hindutva Zionism

Hindutva Zionism

As India and Israel move closer together diplomatically, their citizens are drawing connections in an ever-tighter web.

Nominally committed in their founding to some form of socialism, both Israel and India are now paragons of neoliberalism, characterized by continued inequality and the consolidation of oligarchy. Religious revanchism—rightwing Zionism and Hindu nationalism—have accompanied, even galvanized, the attack on institutions of welfare and mechanisms of redistribution.

Black Church Burning

Black Church Burning

Arson and the long war on black progress

Thirty-six black churches in Mississippi burned during the Freedom Summer of 1964, a campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. That’s twelve churches every month, three every week, and one every three days. Any black person visiting a church for worship, voter registration, or other services knew they might die in a blaze.

Quasi Una Fantasia

Quasi Una Fantasia

This essay will be a fantasy: varied and halting, devoid of high points, ceaselessly striving and failing to end. It begins with an intimate revelation: I have never had an abortion. Thirty years of untrammeled feminine heterosexuality, zero pregnancies. I never wanted children, so I used other methods of birth control, and they worked.

Jesus Raves

Jesus Raves

Sects on the beach

Pastor Parker Richard Green is standing near the entrance, by the railing where there’s a view of the water, drinking a beer. He’s 26 and almost aggressively healthy looking. Tawny of skin, blue of eye, blond of crew cut, he looks like he’s straight from the manufacturer, a human prototype intended to indicate the correct proportion of biceps to shoulders. His brow is square and his jaw is square, and maybe even his whole head is kind of square, but he’s pulling it off.

Beyond Orientalism

Beyond Orientalism

Though its forms and outcomes may be unpredictable and unstable, intercultural exchange is not a practical impossibility.

As a novelty, coffee was initially the object of some suspicion, as Nabil Matar shows in an inspired chapter of his Islam in Britain. While some claimed miraculous benefits from it, among its feared consequences were that it “causeth vertiginous headheach, and maketh lean much, occasioneth waking, and the Emirods, and asswages lust, and sometimes breeds melancholly.”

Seasonal Migration of the Intellectuals

Seasonal Migration of the Intellectuals

Berman’s writing in his new book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, is tighter, more claustrophobic. Gone are those sensational sentences; present are rage-filled declarations. The intellectuals have been willingly duped by a smooth Muslim con man; more important, they have abdicated their responsibility to anti-fascism and human rights. Berman is angrier than ever before, and indeed maybe for the first time.

Ghost in the Cloud

Ghost in the Cloud

Transhumanism’s simulation theology

A new, more pernicious thought had come to dominate my mind: transhumanist ideas were not merely similar to theological concepts but could in fact be the events described in the Bible. It was only a short time before my obsession reached its culmination. I got out my old study Bible and began to scan the prophetic literature for signs of the cybernetic revolution. I began to wonder whether I could pray to beings outside the simulation. I had initially been drawn to transhumanism because it was grounded in science. In the end, I became consumed with the kind of referential mania and blind longing that animates all religious belief.

Turkey and the Headscarf Ban

Turkey and the Headscarf Ban

Taking one’s shoes off had become a signifier of where one stood on the secular-versus-religious divide.

On May 2, 1999, Merve Safa Kavakçı, a 31-year-old newly elected lawmaker from Istanbul, was to take the oath of office in Parliament, having won a seat two weeks earlier as a member of Turkey’s new Islamist party, the Virtue Party. The problem was that Kavakçı was among the few Turkish women in politics who wore a headscarf, and no woman had ever entered the Turkish Parliament in a headscarf before.

Hindutva Zionism

Hindutva Zionism

As India and Israel move closer together diplomatically, their citizens are drawing connections in an ever-tighter web.

Nominally committed in their founding to some form of socialism, both Israel and India are now paragons of neoliberalism, characterized by continued inequality and the consolidation of oligarchy. Religious revanchism—rightwing Zionism and Hindu nationalism—have accompanied, even galvanized, the attack on institutions of welfare and mechanisms of redistribution.

Black Church Burning

Black Church Burning

Arson and the long war on black progress

Thirty-six black churches in Mississippi burned during the Freedom Summer of 1964, a campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. That’s twelve churches every month, three every week, and one every three days. Any black person visiting a church for worship, voter registration, or other services knew they might die in a blaze.

Quasi Una Fantasia

Quasi Una Fantasia

This essay will be a fantasy: varied and halting, devoid of high points, ceaselessly striving and failing to end. It begins with an intimate revelation: I have never had an abortion. Thirty years of untrammeled feminine heterosexuality, zero pregnancies. I never wanted children, so I used other methods of birth control, and they worked.