Current Affairs, Politics, Religion

Blessed Convergence

I’ve been happily consuming a terrific convergence of great writing and public discourse about religion, its relationship with the state of our world, the the things that drive people to embrace religion, and the causes of this age of revived fundamentalism almost everywhere (including here) and thought I’d share the links:

First, Karen Armstrong’s terrific book The Great Transformation which covers how the great religious traditions of today all have roots in almost concurrent developments in the Axial age. Armstrong is a terrific writer, her books The History of Jerusalem and  The History of God are also required reading.

Second, Bill Moyers current series on PBS: Faith and Reason. Great interviews with writers including Margaret Atwood, Martin Amis, and Salman Rushdie among others.

Finally, speeches, readings and interviews at the related PEN World Voices festival in New York.

Listening now to Martin Amis with Patrick McGrath from the PEN series. One great line from Amis:

"I’d much prefer there not to be a God. Because then that gives us free will. An all-seeing, all-predicting God lowers what it is to be human, and I want that to be as maximal as it can be."