If God is Dead; Nothing is Permissible: Some Thoughts on Secularism

Dostoyevsky’s character Ivan Karamazov once claimed, “if God does not exist, then everything is permissible.” This famous line captures the common wisdom that the death of a supreme authority enables people to live in a freer way. Without an external sovereign authority offering prohibitions people can throw off their shackles and construct their own reality. It Read More

Forgotten, but not Gone: Racism and the American Unconscious

This is reproduced from an article I wrote for Theology of Ferguson. Walk around a graveyard and you’re likely to see the phrase “gone, but not forgotten,” etched onto a few tombstones. These words capture the idea that the departed remains in the thoughts of those left behind. It is also a phrase that hints Read More

How to Hate Yourself Without Knowing it

As you might have noticed, I’ve recently been writing on the theme of defence mechanisms as they operate in individuals and groups. I want to continue this trajectory by looking at another common defence (I’m keen to write about some of the more productive defences, particularly Sublimation, but that will have to wait a little Read More

Of Course I’m Happy, I’ve Got Hundreds of Pictures to prove it

It’s well known that one of the defence mechanisms favoured by addicts is Denial. The stereotypical example is that of the alcoholic who says, “I’m not an alcoholic, I could give up drinking anytime I want.” Indeed the prevalence of this defence in addiction is one of the reasons why the first thing you do Read More

Giving Birth to Angels and Demons: On Fundamentalism and Splitting

The term “defense mechanisms” refers to a range of strategies that an individual engages in so as to protect themselves from a painful or unpleasant truth about themselves. Numerous defense mechanisms have been identified over the years and we all engage in a variety of them at different times in our lives. While the term Read More

Let’s Pretend the World Is the Way That It Is

I’m currently exploring the possibility of releasing a paperback version of The Orthodox Heretic and was looking over some of my old parables. I’ve a particular connection with the one below, as it was the first I ever wrote. I remember that it came to me late one night after I’d seen a bumper sticker that Read More

The Making of an Event: Tricks of the Light

This time three years ago I remember sitting over a Guinness in a dingy bar in Belfast, telling my friend Adam about an event I was planning. I was in the early stages of putting together a retreat in Northern Ireland where a small number of people would be invited to hang out, unwind, and Read More

The People Are Naked… Don’t Tell the Emperor!

One of the popular trends within the church today involves affirming that doubts are a part of faith alongside the claim that God is faithful to us throughout these doubts. The most recent example of this comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that he sometimes questions whether there is a God. In the Read More

Getting Thrown Out of Prison: Judge Dredd, the Oppressed, and Salvation

Judge Dredd is a law enforcement officer working in a dystopian future ravaged by radioactive waste. As a Judge in Mega City One he has the authority to arrest, sentence, and execute criminals at the scene of a crime. The judgments are harsh, immediate, binding and given without considering the wider context. At a superficial Read More

Rebellion Without a Cause – How to Start a Revolution

Reforming a cultural, political or religious system doesn’t begin by articulating a ready-made alternative. The problem is that we’re generally so immersed in a given ideology that we can’t even imagine a genuine alternative that isn’t simply a reshuffling of what already exists. Instead of carefully constructed alternatives the revolutionary figure begins by attempting to Read More