If you don’t want your faith to be challenged, do read this post

posted 15/7/14

  In my last book there’s an interesting typo on the back cover. While Tony Jones assures me that he wrote, “If you don’t want you’re faith to be challenged, don’t read this book,” you will see on the back, If you don’t want you’re faith to be challenged, do read this book In analysis […]

Why Atheists Need the Church

posted 17/6/14

  “Only theologians can be true atheists” Lacan I’ve recently been preparing for an online seminar I’m teaching with John Caputo at the GCAS, and one of the thinkers I’ve been brushing up on is the 19th century philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. While he never achieved philosophical sainthood and missed becoming a canonical figure in Western thought, his […]

Everyone Has What I Lack: The Delusional Vision of Elliot Rodger and its Wider Message

posted 12/6/14

In fundamental ways psychotherapeutic practice stands at odds with the wider society within which it’s embedded. Individuals are bombarded with the injunction to enjoy their life, while both sacred and secular sources openly provide formulas for achieving this goal (from embracing spiritual practices to finding the perfect partner, fame or wealth). Nowhere is this superego […]

Facing What We Dare Not Speak: Communities of Exorcism

posted 11/6/14

There’s an old Russian joke from the days when goods were scarce. It tells of a man who finally gets to the front of a line and says, “I guess you don’t have any beef?” To which the shopkeeper responds, “I’m sorry sir, I’m a fishmonger, I don’t have any fish. You want the butcher […]

Gay people? North Korea, Hillsong and the Denial of Denial

posted 8/6/14

  North Korea never fails to offer up interesting and telling examples of how ideology functions. One such example can be found in their claim that homosexuality doesn’t actually exist there. What this strange denial presents to us is the way that ideological systems do not simply operate with prohibitions, but also with prohibitions against […]

New Atheism, Fundamentalism and the Eclipse of Belief

posted 6/6/14

“I think it’s rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the world which includes supernaturalism – we get enough of that anyway… Even fairy tales, the ones we all love, with wizards or princesses turning into frogs or whatever it was. There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn […]

The King and His Jester: Religion and its Acceptable Transgressions

posted 7/5/14

Religion, in its various forms, offers up a constellation of acceptable beliefs and practices that tell us how to think and behave. A denomination, for instance, will offer us a set of dogmas, doctrines and rituals that, to a greater or lesser extent, let us know how to interact with the world. Political, moral and […]

Noah: Aronofsky on Obsession, Madness and Loss

posted 1/4/14

With the financial success of films like God’s Not Dead and Son of Man, alongside the fact that other religious movies are being feverishly produced, 2014 has been christened “year of the bible” in Hollywood. The first big budget film of the year that aims to cash in on this relatively untapped religious market is […]

God is (the) Real

posted 25/3/14

On twitter I occasionally get asked what I think about the existence of God. It’s usually asked by someone who has a solid grasp of what the term “God” refers to, and they assume that it has the same meaning for everyone else. Hence there is confusion when I reply that I can’t answer in […]

I had a Horrible Dream in which I Watched You Die

posted 23/3/14

  The philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s view of freedom and responsibility can initially be difficult to grasp. His claim that we are radically free to choose different options at every given moment can sound like he’s saying there’s a part of us that can weigh up different situations and then make a decision concerning what […]