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.[...]
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.[...]
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).[...]
When we come to know the work of novelist and scholar C.S. Lewis, we usually do it through a textual medium — specifically in childhood, through that thrilling written artifact known as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.[...]
Philip K. Dick’s mind was invaded in 1974.
It happened following surgery for an impacted wisdom tooth. While recovering, the author of Ubik and The Man in the High Castle, received a delivery of pain medication. The delivery girl wore a Jesus fish around her neck, which in Dick’s perception was emitting a pink beam.
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Martin Heidegger is often called the most important philosopher of the 20th century. I’m not in a position to evaluate this claim, but his influence on contemporary and successive European and American thinkers is considerable.
The Church of Scientology has a number of fascinatingly distinctive characteristics, including but not limited to its foundation by a science-fiction novelist. That novelist, a certain L.[...]
I can vividly recall the first time I read C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. I was fourteen, and I was prepared to be terrified by the book, knowing of its demonic subject matter and believing at the time in invisible malevolence.[...]