March 5, 2010

Celebrities Claiming Faith
What do Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, Mark Sanford, and Thomas W. Noe have in common? No, it’s not the opening line of the worst joke ever about a penchant for making headlines and trouble. All four, in an effort to redeem their public image, have made statements to the press about their faith. (Meredith Heagney, The Columbus Dispatch)

Are There Jewish Fantasy Writers?
A new essay claiming that Jewish authors don’t write fantasy literature has caused a firestorm of criticism online, including an impressive list of Jewish fantasy authors. Is Christianity really embedded in the DNA of the fantasy epic? (Charlie Jane Anders, io9)

Mystery of Dinosaur Demise Solved?
It’s official: The extinction of the dinosaurs and a host of other species 65.5 million years ago was caused by a massive asteroid that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, creating worldwide havoc, an international team of researchers said. (Thomas Maugh II, Los Angeles Times)

The Importance of Being Human
To counter the Copernican Principle, we should develop a “humancentrism”: We alone have the power to ruin or to save this precious world we live in. And I don’t mean this in some kind of naive, la-la way. I mean it quite literally. If we don’t mend our ways, we will only have ourselves to blame. Judging from the past few thousands of years, no one, alien intelligence or God, will come to our rescue. (Marcelo Gleiser, 13.7: Cosmos and Culture Blog, NPR)

Detroit Buses the Latest to Get Atheist Ads
They show the words “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone” superimposed on an image of blue sky and clouds. (Associated Press)

Q&A
Lionel Tiger

In his latest work, co-authored with psychiatrist Michael McGuire, Lionel Tiger enters into the new field known as the cognitive science of religion. In God’s Brain, Tiger and McGuire argue that religious practice “brainsoothes”—alleviates the sharp edges of the human experience—far more than any other human activity. (Brian Bethune, Macleans)

TELEVISION
Caprica, Episode 5

This week’s discussion centers on the efficacy of ritual, on the “magic circle” of game space, and on the conversion of a central character from lost soul to gun-toting avenger—who doesn’t know she’s already dead. (Religion Dispatches)

Category: Field Notes

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