This short Thanksgiving Day devotion comes to us from Paul Walker:
Virginians, being Virginians, like to claim that the first Thanksgiving took place not at Plymouth Rock, but at Berkley Plantation in Virginia in 1619. The ships that arrived from England had a charter that required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God.
“We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” So, on that first day…
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We are so proud and excited to announce the release of a brand-new Mockingbird publication, Paul Zahl’s first book in seven years, PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion! Entertaining, page-turning, and quirky almost beyond words, the Panopticon mines fresh territory without ever losing sight of the “heart of the matter”, providing a remarkably fresh survey of the world’s most captivating answers to the question of being human. It is unlike anything you’ve ever read (in the best possible way), a true cult classic in the making, both Dr. Zahl’s funniest and most personal piece of work to date. We’ll run some previews in the coming weeks but for now, enjoy the blurb on the back cover, which reads as follows:
Imagine you have ten minutes to live. You’re in a near-death situation, like the patient who’s being operated on and suddenly finds himself looking down on the action as the doctors try to save his life.
What do you need to know when your life’s end is near? What is there to know? What can this religion or that religion say to you when you really need some light? Maybe nothing, for sure. But maybe something, possibly.
PZ’s Panopticon weighs the world’s organized religions, such as Christianity and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism; but it also weighs “dead” religions like those of the Aztecs, the ancient Egyptians, and the Greeks and Romans. There are also religions that are not called religions, like money and fame and sex; family and children; ideology and power.
PZ’s Panopticon is a wild ride. But it’s part of a trip we’re all going to take.
P.S. The Panopticon is only the first of two PZ-related projects that are hitting shelves this month. Stay tuned for an announcement next week about the long-awaited Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl.
I remember visiting my brother in Memphis during basketball season in 2008: Derrick Rose was the talk of the town. With a 6-foot-4 frame, Rose was slightly taller than most of the point guards he went up against and could jump higher and run faster. Rose came out Simeon High School in Chicago, a hotbed for freakishly athletic ball players–Rose was certainly no exception. After a phenomenal freshman year at Memphis, Rose was the first overall pick in the NBA draft the following year.
If you remember, in our NBA Season Preview of sorts, Derrick Rose’s return to the NBA–after sitting out…
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Well, this is about as interesting as it gets, especially during a week that so revolves around food. In the past 48 hours, I’ve been forwarded not one but four separate articles about the religiosity inherent in the juice cleanse phenomenon. It would appear that, after receding for a number of years following the boom in the early 00s, juicing has come back with a vengeance, especially in affluent circles. While each of the articles takes a slightly different angle, all of them agree that when someone pays close to $10 for a small bottle of green liquid, there is…
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This reflection comes from Chelsea Batten.
I probably shouldn’t have gone back to his place. But I was leaving the next morning, and I didn’t want to leave him a moment before. A proper Christian lady would say that she regretted staying the night at his place.
But I don’t regret that. What I do regret is that we turned on a movie. That we spent the evening watching it, before making out for a few brief minutes and then falling asleep on his couch.
He’d made me feel more special than anybody ever has, before or since. Every five minutes his manners,…
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Tragically, one of the most underappreciated shows on television, Estevão Ciavatta’s magnificent PREAMAR, has been discontinued by HBO as a result of their contentiousness over production rights. While we sincerely hope that HBO will change its mind or that someone else will pick up this masterpiece of Ipanema, for the time being our friend Fernanda Rodriguez has graciously compiled a very thorough and interesting interview with three of the show’s most compelling characters, Paula (Karen Junqueira), Maria Isabel (Paloma Riani), and Pepete (Thiago Amaral) . The interview transcript follows:
Karen Junqueira (Paula)
What took you to acting?
Ever since I was little I…
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We are beyond thrilled to announce the line-up of speakers at our 2014 Spring Conference, which takes place in New York City on April 3-5th. For a sense of why we’re so excited, click on the names below and peruse our coverage of their work. We’ve also provided a couple of individual highlights for your reading pleasure. Needless to say, this should be interesting:
Francis Spufford (Author and Professor)
Jonathan Haidt (Moral Psychologist)
Sally Lloyd-Jones (Children’s Book Author)
Tim Kreider (Essayist, Humorist, Cartoonist)
Ashley Null (Reformation Historian and Theologian)
Plus, David Zahl and various members of the Mockingbird Team. We hope to announce more details, including breakouts and themes, in early December.
Also, for the first time ever this year, we are offering discounted “early-bird” rates. Anyone who pre-registers from now until the end of December will receive 15% off the all-inclusive sticker price of $150/person. Meaning, pre-register today for $125/person! The rate is only available at the all-inclusive level (i.e. food and full program). All other pre-registration options–partial attendance, program only, individual meals, etc–will open in January.
P.S. While we’re at it, we can officially confirm that our 2014 Fall Conference will take place at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Houston, TX on October 17-18. Save the date!
If any professional athlete has the gift of gab, it is Mike Tyson. Words have proven to be profoundly significant in his life, from the infamous interviews about his relationships with the women in his life, to cussing out/threatening opponents in press conferences, to his now rather candid reflections on his crazy life in documentaries and stage shows and now his new autobiography. Grantland‘s Jay Caspian Kang’s recent piece on Tyson’s life and career is an extremely thoughtful observation on the complexities which mark Iron Mike’s life. The article especially sheds light on Tyson’s relationship with his former trainer/guardian, Cus…
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Last weekend we bought my wife a new (used) car. Her old(er) one was getting a bit small for our growing boys, and was quickly approaching 100,000 miles (at which point it would become more difficult to sell), so we bit the bullet and took the plunge.
Now we have a 12 year-old, 99k-mile car to get off our hands. It’s in excellent shape, by the way. New timing belt and everything, if you happen to be in the market.
On Sunday evening I posted a for-sale ad on Craigslist. Wanting to separate myself from the herd, I spent some time crafting…
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In September of this year, we missed an interesting article over at the The Guardian profiling the then-governor of Bastoy Prison, one of the most successful prisons in the world, located in Norway. ‘Success’ immediately raises the question of what success looks like, and we could say there are two major approaches to this term: the first, ‘success’ in terms of making inmates less likely to reoffend, and second, ‘success’ in terms of how much prisoners serve a just punishment equal to their crime.
The second seems a bit vindictive, though most people would be if they were the victims of these…
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