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