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Interfaith Wisdom for Our Modern Times

Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. (Proverbs 9:1) When Akbar the Great built the Ibidat Khana, or “House of Worship” in the city of Fatehpur Sikri, India during the 16th century, he intended to […]

June 25th

The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism

The following is reprinted with permission from Religion Dispatches. Follow RD on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates and be sure to check out RD’s cool, new science section, The Cubit, which examines the intersection between science, religion, technology, and ethics. By Lauren Sutton What do the Mad Max franchise, protests of the Keystone pipeline, and […]

June 16th

Guardians Of This Refuge: Tarkovsky, Nerval, And Our Personal “Gods”

Not long after I saw Andrei Tarkovsky’s mesmerizing Stalker last year, I read Aurélia, Gérard de Nerval’s “memoir of his madness” (madness meant literally). At the time, I didn’t make any connection between the two. It took a chance revisiting of Nerval’s story, after recently writing about Tarkovsky’s film, to realize their uncanny similarities. Nerval […]

February 25th

Meltdown In Tibet Exposes Ecological Damage In Tibet

  Water is one of the most important commodities in the world. It is something we cannot live without, and despite the fact that is covers two thirds of our planet, drinking water is scarce in too many places around the world. A lot of this is due to mining and engineering that ruin ecosystems […]

February 24th

The Age of Sabots in 15th Century Netherlands

In terms of cleaning up an old house and making it livable at the same time, I’ve so far mentioned items either directly useful, like chairs to sit in, or ritualistically useful, like a historical tea set. But other found objects fit less obviously into the spheres of use. In fact, with the advances in […]

February 3rd

Magic, But Not In Black and White

The occult has traditionally enjoyed a mixed, often lukewarm at best, reception among organized religions. Chaos Magic, a relatively recently developed postmodern occult tradition which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems, seems unlikely to buck the trend. (Add to that Chaos Magic’s mutual feelings towards religion.) But by taking an objective approach, we can […]

December 26th

Thoreau’s Life in the Woods

Throughout Thoreau’s philosophy one can see a sort of neo-Taoism, specifically a way of understanding “higher” thought, spiritual and otherwise, through his reverance of nature: “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious […]

December 15th

Communal Gardening Realized

Examining the “nature versus nurture” debate in the early 1930s, anthropologist Margaret Mead spent time among the native populations of New Guinea. The results of her studies were published in Sex & Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. Within her studies, Mead describes some interesting habits of the societies in which she lived — manifestations of […]

December 1st