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You can be Like God: Some Thoughts on the Oedipal Dilemma of Adam and Eve

This post suffers from the duel sins of saying too much and too little. Too much in that it requires a certain grounding in psychoanalytic thinking, and too little because it offers nothing but a brief sketch of the way I approach the biblical tradition. For a more in depth version, I recommend The Divine Magician. Read More

Wake: The Line-up

March 03, 2016
Wake: The Line-up

This year I finally christened my Belfast based underground festival of 40. The name I gave it was Wake. A wake is a gathering that takes place between a death and a funeral. It traditionally takes place in the home of the one who has passed and helps those gathered to come to terms with Read More

The Foolishness of the Non-Fool: Fundamentalism, New Atheism and the Enlightened Idiot

Part of our development into subjects involves our inscription into language. Whatever country we are born in, we must learn how to navigate a symbolic structure (English, French, Chinese etc.). This inscription into language is not without its difficulties, and it never goes without a hitch. But very gradually language becomes transparent to us and Read More

The Devil is Real: Some thoughts on Debt, Grace and the Forgiveness of Sin

It’s Easter Sunday. A day when many reflect on the Resurrection and its relation to the seemingly obscure notion of “forgiveness of sin”. I’ve explored this theme in various ways over the years, indeed my latest book offers a reading of what “forgiveness of sin” means without any of the mystification and obscurantism that comes Read More

Christian Nihilism: Good Friday and the Primordial Chaos

In ikon we liked to play with different subtitles for the event. One of my favorites was “Ikon: Where everyday is Good Friday.” While this was mainly a playful title reflecting the reputation ikon had for rather dark and disturbing themes, it also captured a deeper truth about what we had created. The theological theory Read More

What Religion Should we Convert to? Leaving Christianity in the name of Christianity

Conversion is a central idea in Christianity, so what does it actually mean? This is a question that I’d love to write a book on some day, but in the mean time I’ll make occasional reflections here and in my other work. Because the paradigmatic conversion story in the Bible is that of Saul on Read More

The Omega Course: Adventures in Religionless Christianity

After the success of Atheism for Lent, I’m working on an online course called The Omega Course, In 1977, Charles Marnham created The Alpha Course to introduce some basic aspects of the Christian faith to people in his church. From its humble beginnings in Brompton, it has now reached over 27 million people across 169 countries. The course focuses Read More

Radical Subtraction: The Political Potential of Contemplation

There’s an old joke about a man who visits a lawyer in New York. Upon entering the lawyer’s office he sits down and says, “How much does your advice cost?” The lawyer responds, “$500 for three questions.” Surprised the man exclaims “Seriously?” “Yes,” says the lawyer, “Now what’s your third question?” Here the man assumes Read More

On the Irish Condition: Psychosis, Lack and Original Sin

Lacan famously used the example of a robbery to describe our emergence into the world. He told his students that our birth as subjects happens at a moment that is analogous to a highway robber putting a gun to our head and saying, “your money or your life.” In this situation we either refuse to Read More

Our Propaganda Machine: On Broken Kettles and Leaky Buckets

Freud once wrote the enigmatic phrase, “Where id was, there ego shall be.“ One way of interpreting this is by saying – where an explosion of our unconscious emotions occur, there the ego will rush in to provide justifications. In other words, the ego will retroactively justify the outburst. Here the ego takes on the role Read More