Those Which were Possessed by Devils

Pop-culture, Demons and Philosophy Recently, I enlisted a friend to see The Conjuring with me. The movie claims to be based on real events, which seems to be a standard feature for these types of films, and depicts the haunting of a family upon moving into a new home with a grisly past, yet another fairly standard feature. The family enlists the help of self-proclaimed demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who nearly immediately confirm the affliction as having a demonic source.[1]... Read More

CFP: Space, Place, and Mimetic Theory

July 10-14, 2013 University of Northern Iowa A LAND BETWEEN TWO RIVERS Between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, a self-sustaining eco-system that now comprises the state of Iowa was created over thousands of years. In 1800, 240 million acres of tall grass prairie covered middle America. By 1900, this land had been transformed into farm fields, and the foundations for large-scale industrial agriculture had been laid. Today, this land has already lost half of its rich black... Read More

The Necessity of Another

            From the very first time I was introduced to the work of Jean-Luc Marion, I was captivated with his account of the passive self and saturated phenomenon. Being principally concerned with the human propensity for self-righteousness, Marion’s philosophy provided me with a way to think the Christian experience while steering clear of some of the naughtier habits of the autarkic self. However, in continuing to interact with Marion’s work, I find myself questioning... Read More

So you think you can tell?: Perception and the Postmodern Condition

Apple, Sydney, by Pedro Milanez So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain? -Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd, 1975 The classic Pink Floyd song addressed former band member Syd Barrett’s breakdown, and writer Roger Walters’ feelings of alienation. The song’s symbolism has also been aligned with perceptions of a narcotic trip. The Easter speech by Pope Benedict XVI suggests that in our postmodern moment, we have all become lost in perceptions, and... Read More

Altar to an Unknown God: In response to Alain de Botton

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:23   Candida Höfer, Musée du Louvre Paris IX 2005 Candida Höfer’s photography of monumental spaces is one of my favorite examples of cultural decadence. Höfer, like Andreas Gursky, studied the architectural landscape with Bernd and Hilla Becher. Her photos... Read More

2 More CFPs on Religion, Literature, Culture and the Arts

The International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture has just listed two new CFPs for conferences in 2012. The Society’s annual conference, hosted in Copenhagen in 2012, will focus on “Cultures in Transition: Presence, Absence, Memory.” Here is the link to the Society’s new webpage where all the CFP info is located: http://isrlc.org/. The 8th annual conference on Religion, Literature and the Arts, hosted at the University of Iowa, will have the... Read More

What Is It Like: Imagining and Religion

  (This post is by Bryne Lewis Allport) In preparing for a recent class, I had the opportunity to interact with “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” by Thomas Nagel. Apart from supplying me with interesting directions for my students’ discussion of the mind/body distinction, the article provided me with food for thought concerning my own endeavors in philosophy of religion. To review, Nagel’s article argues that the subjective nature of consciousness makes it presently... Read More