Theology

Harry Potter and the Death of the Hallowed

In celebration of 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published, I thought it’d be a good chance to look back to one of my own offerings  in which I offered a radical reading of Potter’s relationship to his magical art. During a short speaking tour on Mutiny in the US with Peter Rollins,

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On Football as Socialism, Pentecost, and ‘Keeping Death in your Mouth’

Russell Brand is very often an annoying tool, but (once you get past the annoying first 10 mins) this podcast episode with Simon Critchley is stunning. Spinoza, Aristotle and the complexities of hating Frank Lampard, plus the ontology of West Ham, time dilation and why football is socialism. Not to mention Pentecost, keeping death in

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The Cloud of All-Knowing | Democracy and Demagogues in the Age of Data

  “True power is not the strength to force someone into slavery, but to make them happily lock their own manacles, as if chains were adding to their liberty.”  Yesterday The Observer published a long and detailed piece that attempted to join (some of) the dots between the ‘big data’ socio-political technology firm Cambridge Analytica, and

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From Russia, With Chaos

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been re-reading Peter Pomerantsev’s book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, each page pushing me towards the same, slightly counterintuitive conclusion: if you want to understand Trump’s America, you need to look to Putin’s Russia. I first read the book when a colleague – a history teacher I’d

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Theology and Fiction: Telling Stories of Order Amidst The Chaos

I just this week finished John Yorke’s book Into the Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. It was recommended by a good friend who’s a director in theatre and is also now writing for television. She insisted that I read it before I began any more writing. I’m really glad I did, for

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Atheist Prayers – When ‘Thoughts’ Are Not Enough

As the events of the horrible attack on Westminster unfolded, the journalist and activist Laurie Penny sent a tweet that read, ‘thoughts and atheist prayers with everyone in Westminster right now. What a horrifying situation.’ And with that, the twittersphere erupted. Atheist prayers?! Atheists and prayers united in a vicious chorus of righteous indignation at

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A Theology of Human Machines | Solving the ‘Modest Problem of Death’

A fascinating read in the latest New Republic, reviewing Irish writer Mark O’Connor’s new book, To Be A Machine – subtitled ‘Adventures among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers and Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death.’ Anna Wiener writes: O’Connell is less interested in evaluating technology than in the people who make it and its philosophical implications. As he

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Are Your Beliefs My Problem? | Liberal Belief in the Transcendent

I spent a fantastic New Year down in Devon with a great group of people – open fires, good walks, food, drink… and opportunities for ‘deliberate’ conversation too. In one such session, pretty late one night, a bunch of us had been thinking about ‘life in a post-truth era.’ It was fascinating stuff, but just

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