Healed and Whole Forever: On Psychedelic Science & Spirituality

Patricia Kubala explores the connection between drugs,

healing, and spirituality online. Continue Reading →

Celebrity Relics

From “On the Religious Roots of Celebrity Worship” at Philly.com (Philadephia Inquirer/Daily News):

“There’s a kind of cultural fascination with special people who are marked out for greatness but who die young and often in tragic or violent circumstances,” says Geary, author of Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages (Princeton University Press, 2008).

Just look at celebrity funerals, says Laderman, who traces today’s cult of the famous back to Rudolph Valentino’s 1926 funeral. The crowds, Laderman says, were in a collective hysteria one usually associates with religious states.

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All the Market's a Stage

By George González

Placards at this weekend’s forced evacuation of “Occupy Boston,” as elsewhere in the country, defiantly read, “You Can’t Evict an Idea.” This kind of contention is key to understanding the sophisticated politics of the “Occupy Movement.”  The seeming contradiction between this notion and the original focus on the physical occupation of space exemplifies the genius of the movement.

In my previous post, “The Market, Warren Buffet and the Occupation of Wall Street,” I discussed how arguments which overstate the rationalist dimensions of economic life, whatever their political persuasion, are dangerous because they contribute to misunderstandings of  how economic power actually works in our daily lives. If we misdiagnose the stakes or misread the landscape, our social critique is impaired. I made the point that, in practice, Warren Buffett’s financial empire understands quite well the “emotional content of economics,” as one of my mentors, Bethany Moreton, nicely puts it.  Yet, his solutions for improving our economic lot are strangely rationalist given the multifaceted ways in which his company does business. What I mean by this is that his solution is formal, proceduralist and bureaucratic. It makes a policy appeal regarding tax law and commends legislative approaches. Legislative and legal activism that benefits from ten-point plans and specific policy goals are, no doubt, very important pragmatic dimensions of the work that needs to be done. Such work, however, does not begin to exhaust what is meant by the mantra Occupy Everything! nor begin to exhaust the sakes as many “occupiers” understand them. Continue Reading →

All the Market’s a Stage

By George González

Placards at this weekend’s forced evacuation of “Occupy Boston,” as elsewhere in the country, defiantly read, “You Can’t Evict an Idea.” This kind of contention is key to understanding the sophisticated politics of the “Occupy Movement.”  The seeming contradiction between this notion and the original focus on the physical occupation of space exemplifies the genius of the movement.

In my previous post, “The Market, Warren Buffet and the Occupation of Wall Street,” I discussed how arguments which overstate the rationalist dimensions of economic life, whatever their political persuasion, are dangerous because they contribute to misunderstandings of  how economic power actually works in our daily lives. If we misdiagnose the stakes or misread the landscape, our social critique is impaired. I made the point that, in practice, Warren Buffett’s financial empire understands quite well the “emotional content of economics,” as one of my mentors, Bethany Moreton, nicely puts it.  Yet, his solutions for improving our economic lot are strangely rationalist given the multifaceted ways in which his company does business. What I mean by this is that his solution is formal, proceduralist and bureaucratic. It makes a policy appeal regarding tax law and commends legislative approaches. Legislative and legal activism that benefits from ten-point plans and specific policy goals are, no doubt, very important pragmatic dimensions of the work that needs to be done. Such work, however, does not begin to exhaust what is meant by the mantra Occupy Everything! nor begin to exhaust the sakes as many “occupiers” understand them. Continue Reading →

Sanctifying Wall Street

Amy Levin: Time for an update on #religion at #occupywallstreet? This week, Sarah Posner mediated a roundtable discussion with Religion Dispatches regular contributors highlighting particular religious moments of the occupy movement. Anthea Butler tells Posner says that Occupy Atlanta’s refusal to let civil rights protestor and Congressman John Lewis speak was a reflection of OWS “becoming slaves to the ‘process'” rather than accepting inspiration. The civil rights movement, like OWS, didn’t have a “complete consensus” either, and it was inspiration, not process, that sustained endurance.

Posner then questions Nathan Schneider about the role of self-identified religious groups in the movement like the Protest Chaplains and Occupy Judaism. Posner asks whether or not these groups are necessary for the success of OWS, or if religious activists are engaged in the movement in order to “reimagine the role of their respective religious traditions in contemporary political activism.” Schneider responds that the “ordinary trappings” of religion, like rituals and ceremonies, are needed in the movement; religious groups will only be able to get so far toward their own goals inside the “self-consciously non-hierarchical, revolutionary, and disruptive” environment of OWS. Continue Reading →

Religion Doesn't Always Work for Mammon

Ruben Sanchez: Religion Clause recently informed us of a court ruling that states that the United Postal Service (USPS) does not need to accommodate a Seventh Day Adventist employee’s request to have every Saturday off. The 8th Circuit held that if Saturday leave were granted, such a demand, made under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, would impose an undue hardship on the company, violate its collective bargaining agreement, or challenge its seniority system.” Continue Reading →

Religion Doesn’t Always Work for Mammon

Ruben Sanchez: Religion Clause recently informed us of a court ruling that states that the United Postal Service (USPS) does not need to accommodate a Seventh Day Adventist employee’s request to have every Saturday off. The 8th Circuit held that if Saturday leave were granted, such a demand, made under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, would impose an undue hardship on the company, violate its collective bargaining agreement, or challenge its seniority system.” Continue Reading →