The Wisdom of Alan Watts in Four Thought-Provoking Animations

≡ Category: Animation, Philosophy, Religion |1 Comment

Perhaps no single person did more to popularize Zen Buddhism in the West than Alan Watts. In a sense, Watts prepared U.S. culture for more traditionally Zen teachers like Soto priest Suzuki Roshi, whose lineage continues today, but Watts did not consider himself a Zen Buddhist.

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Mahatma Gandhi’s List of the 7 Social Sins; or Tips on How to Avoid Living the Bad Life

≡ Category: History, Life, Religion |4 Comments

In 590 AD, Pope Gregory I unveiled a list of the Seven Deadly Sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride – as a way to keep the flock from straying into the thorny fields of ungodliness.

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Celebrate The Day of the Dead with The Classic Skeleton Art of José Guadalupe Posada

≡ Category: Art, Religion |1 Comment

In Mexico on November 2, mortality is approached with music and laughter.
“On the Day of the Dead, when the spirits come back to us,” explains the Dr. Vigil character in the 1984 film of Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, “the road from heaven must be made easy, and not slippery with tears.

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Stephen Fry Explains Humanism in 4 Animated Videos: Happiness, Truth and the Meaning of Life & Death

≡ Category: Life, Philosophy, Religion |6 Comments

Answers to life’s big questions don’t come cheap, but they very often come free, or at least we feel they should. Which answers you find compelling among your available options is up to you.

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Literary Critic Northrop Frye Teaches “The Bible and English Literature”: All 25 Lectures Free Online

≡ Category: Literature, Religion |3 Comments

One reason I’m glad for having had a childhood religious education: it has made me conversant in even some of the most obscure stories and ideas in the Christian Bible, which is everywhere in English literature.

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Help Kickstart Baba Brinkman’s Animated Rap Guide to Religion

≡ Category: Animation, Religion |Leave a Comment

If you’ve been frequenting Open Culture long enough, you’ll know all about the Canadian “geek rapper” Baba Brinkman and his epic raps. The subjects of Brinkman’s raps have included evolution, artificial selection, The Canterbury Tales, and British versus Canadian English.

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The Religions of Bob Dylan: From Delivering Evangelical Sermons to Singing Hava Nagila With Harry Dean Stanton

≡ Category: Music, Religion |7 Comments

My first reaction upon learning about Bob Dylan’s brief conversion to Evangelical Christianity may have been something like “What in the hell?” It wasn’t a religious Dylan that surprised me; it was Dylan embracing a faith that can often seem doggedly literal and, well, just a little inflexible.

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Ayn Rand Trashes C.S. Lewis in Her Marginalia: He’s an “Abysmal Bastard”

≡ Category: Books, Philosophy, Religion |5 Comments

The political intersection of Ayn Randian libertarians and Evangelical conservatives is a baffling phenomenon for most of us outside the American right. It’s hard to reconcile the atheist arch-capitalist and despiser of social welfare with, for example, the Sermon on the Mount.

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Johnny Cash Reads the Entire New Testament

≡ Category: Music, Religion |Leave a Comment

The best gospel recordings—by Aretha Franklin, The Staples Singers, The Carter Family, even Elvis—hum with a deep sincerity that can be truly moving, despite the unintentionally funny earnestness of ballads like “He Touched Me” (not to mention some of those album covers).

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Sonny Rollins Describes How 50 Years of Practicing Yoga Made Him a Better Musician

≡ Category: Creativity, Music, Religion |Leave a Comment

Indian mystic and philosopher Patanjali supposedly created modern yoga by transmitting his doctrine and disciplines to seven sages.

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