Religion

Nietzsche and Moses’s Stutter

Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg— The tendency of meaning to burn out of language is a constant theme in Nietzsche’s writings. Here lies the paradox of the stammer: May your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names: and if you must speak of her, then do not be ashamed to

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Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy

John A. McGuckin— Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy is not so common an event that it never risks a general level of misunderstanding. I, who am a priest of that church, was once asked by a Protestant minister at an ecumenical conference, how I could be Orthodox and not wear a kippah?

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Heaven, Hell, and Non-Muslims in the Qur’an

Gabriel Said Reynolds— Heaven and hell are important notions to the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam. The divine voice of the Qur’an assures its audience that those who are faithful and do good will enter into paradise, which it names janna (related to Hebrew gan, meaning “garden”) and firdaws (from

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Learning to Meditate

Stephen Batchelor— Even on long summer days in rural England when it would not get dark until 10 pm, my mother insisted on sending her two sons to bed early, which I thought both unfair and pointless. Unable to sleep, I would close my eyes and imagine my prone body

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Putting an End to Pests

John Hainze— The Endangered Species Act is one of the premier environmental laws in the United States. It offers protection for endangered and threatened organisms both large and small—from orchids to insects to bears. That the Act does not differentiate between charismatic animals and those of a lesser pedigree is

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Muhammad

Tim Mackintosh-Smith— Before sunrise on a winter’s day early in the year 630, a captive in the Arabian town of Yathrib looked on as the men of the place gathered in the courtyard outside his cell. He could make out little between the few splashes of lamplight. But when their

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Finding the Bible

Brent Nongbri— Late in 1907, it was publicly revealed that the American businessman Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) had acquired a group of four early Christian books from an antiquities dealer in Egypt. Freer, who made a fortune from the production of railcars in Detroit during the 1890s, had established himself

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Beyond Buddhist Exceptionalism

Evan Thompson— Confusion reigns in the debates about science and religion. Nowhere is this more evident than in the special treatment Buddhism receives. People say Buddhism is the most science-friendly of religions. According to a widespread view, Buddhism at its core isn’t so much a religion as it is a

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What Can We Know about Early Christ Groups?

John Kloppenborg— A common misconception about early Christ groups is that we know quite a lot about them—their approximate size (50–100), their meeting places (private houses), and the ways they functioned financially. (I use “Christ groups” rather than “Christian groups” for a simple reason: The use of “Christian” of persons

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Variations in Abrahamic Covenant Commentary

By Scott W. Hahn — Unlike the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant has always been a focus of scholarly attention. Perhaps the most important recent contribution is Paul R. Williamson’s monograph, Abraham, Israel and the Nations (2000). Williamson, a synchronic and narrative analyst, recognizes that at least two covenants between God and Abraham are

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