Religion

Religion is one of those things that, depending on who you are, can mean almost anything. It’s simultaneously so personal and so broad that it feels almost impossible to talk about.

And yet that’s what we do here. We talk here about the stories of religion – the stories that we tell ourselves and each other about where we’re from, and what life means. We talk about the stories that shape the lives of believers all around the globe.

To date, we’ve only really been talking about Christianity. That’s my background, my heritage – it’s the only one where I feel like I have the understanding and authority to talk about it in depth. Eventually we might broaden our range – but for now, that’s where we are.

Check out some of the quick-start topics below, or scroll down for the most recent – updates every Sunday.

On Now: 20th-C Catholics

Catholic thinkers from across the 20th century.

The Big Four

Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin

By author

All the texts we’ve discussed, listed by author

Most recent:

Berdyaev: Hell Doesn’t Exist

Over the past month we’ve been looking at The Beginning and the End, by the exiled Russian Orthodox theologian Nicolas Berdyaev. It’s about eschatology, or the end times; in it, we find Berdyaev’s perspective on what time is and what eternity is, and what it might be like when we move from one to the […]

Berdyaev: Are We Making Progress?

Here’s a question. As a species, as human beings, are we making progress? There are three basic answers to this question – yes we are, no we aren’t, or progress isn’t real. The first two are pretty straightforward – they either agree that we’re moving forward, or they disagree, and think we’re moving backwards. And […]

Berdyaev: Art and Transformation

In literature and the arts more broadly, the idea of creative genius has kinda come in and out of fashion. We talked previously about the idea of inspiration (Eastshade: On Inspiration), and I offered a few different phases that might characterize our approach to these ideas. There’s inspiration as something from the divine, as something […]

Berdyaev: On Choice and the New

Nicolas Berdyaev is a 20th century Russian Orthodox theologian. Like Vladimir Lossky, he was exiled from Russia on the philosophers’ ships in 1922, and ended up living in France, where he stayed through the German occupation during the Second World War. He has a pretty substantial bibliography, with titles like Spirit and Reality, Slavery and […]

Lossky: On Social Darwinism

So we’re reading the wartime diary of Vladimir Lossky, a 20th century Russian theologian exiled in 1922 and living in France during the Second World War. We talked about this book previously, but as a reminder, Seven Days on the Roads of France covers the week that Lossky spent fleeing the German invasion of Paris […]

Lossky: The Saints Didn’t Help Us

We’ve been talking over the last few weeks about the 20th century Russian theologian Vladimir Lossky. We looked at his most famous work, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, and this week we’ve got something a bit more biographical. This is something that will come up a bit as we work through various Orthodox […]

Lossky: Is God in Light or Darkness?

I guess we’re doing a little bit on human identity at the moment, huh. We talked recently about the problem of individuality and unity in Christian thought – what does it mean for us as humans to be as one, but to also retain our identity as individuals? How do those attributes coexist? We were […]

Lossky: Our Doubled Nature

About six months ago we were looking at Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man, where its author, the Catholic cardinal Henri de Lubac was arguing that the purpose of humanity is to come together again as one people. He argued that sin separates us, makes us individual, and that the ultimate goal of […]

Christian Hermeticism: On Marxism

Alright, this is it for the crazy tarot book. Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism is an anonymously written Catholic text from the 20th century. It takes the 22 major arcana as a jumping off point to reflect on Christian theology, and if it sounds like an unnecessary way to go about […]

Christian Hermeticism: Flat Earth and Evolution

Alright I flagged last week that this guy went off about evolution and geocentrism, and this week we’re going to talk about it. Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism is an esoteric Catholic text from the mid-20th century. It’s written anonymously, and it uses tarot cards as essentially an organising principle to […]

Christian Hermeticism: On Magic

The standard narrative around magic and the supernatural is that we used to describe things as magic when we didn’t understand them. The sacrificial acts of the Greeks and Romans, of the Jews – these were attempts to placate divine beings, which stood in for natural forces. These cultures gave shape and name to wind […]

Christian Hermeticism: On Identity

When Christians come to engage with other traditions or types of thought, you’ll often see one of two approaches: attack or absorb. The ‘attacking’ approach tries to undermine the credentials or the conclusions of these alternate traditions, while the ‘absorbing’ approach intimates that the underlying principles are identical, suggesting that the alternate tradition is sort […]

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