Discover the Church of St. John Coltrane, Founded on the Divine Music of A Love Supreme

≡ Category: Music, Religion |4 Comments

For some time now, people like poet Robert Graves and countercultural guru Timothy Leary have assumed that ancient religion and mysticism were the products of mind-altering drugs.

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Robert Sapolsky Explains the Biological Basis of Religiosity, and What It Shares in Common with OCD, Schizophrenia & Epilepsy

≡ Category: Biology, Religion, Science |4 Comments

Since the 19th century, thinkers like Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud have theorized religion as a strictly psychological and anthropological phenomenon born of the tendency of the human mind to project its contents out into the heavens.

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George Harrison’s Mystical, Fisheye Self-Portraits Taken in India (1966)

≡ Category: Music, Photography, Religion |1 Comment

The Beatles’ sojourn in India can seem like a bit of a stunt, as much a rock n’ roll cliché as Led Zeppelin’s trashed hotel rooms or Fleetwood Mac’s coke binges. Easily parodied in, for example, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, the band’s turn Eastward looks in hindsight like faddish spiritual tourism.

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The Wisdom of Alan Watts in Four Thought-Provoking Animations

≡ Category: Animation, Philosophy, Religion |7 Comments

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 |7 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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