Posts tagged "Paul Zahl"
You Can Never Have Enough (Copies of Tomb of Ligeia): A PZ’s Panopticon Teaser

You Can Never Have Enough (Copies of Tomb of Ligeia): A PZ’s Panopticon Teaser

As we approach the holiday season, in which I look forward to Paradox Interactive’s Europa Universalis IV and a new sweater for the frigid mid-Atlantic, I was recently reminded of the floater, a (non-) fictional man on the ceiling lovingly created by Paul F.M. Zahl, an out-of-body person watching the doctors operate on his body. What could each religion mean to him, when he needs it most? Specifically, things – a new historic simulation video game or a Tauntaun sleeping bag?

Zahl, in his newest book, PZ’s Panopticon, examines the religion of Things in a remarkably fresh way, using his ‘panopticon’ (‘all-seeing’) of…

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NOW AVAILABLE! Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F. M. Zahl

NOW AVAILABLE! Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F. M. Zahl

Talk about a double whammy! As promised, here’s the second part of our PZ-centric month at Mbird. This project has been in the works for quite some time–ever since the father figure in question hit the big 6-0 in fact–and we are absolutely thrilled it is finally available! Edited with care and precision by John Koch (aka JDK) and Todd Brewer (aka Todd Brewer), published by Wipf and Stock, and containing entries from a slew of Mbird contributors (and many other esteemed colleagues!), not to mention a preface from Tullian Tchividjian, this is something special indeed. After all, it’s not…

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Announcing PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion!

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:

panopticoncoverImagine 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.

Now available on Amazon, but if you want more of the revenue to go to Mbird, PLACE YOUR ORDER HERE TODAY!

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.

PZ’s Podcast: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis and The Happiest Actual Life

PZ’s Podcast: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis and The Happiest Actual Life

EPISODE 158: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis

Credible hope — hope that works — something to dispel the advancing clouds of agnosticism. Those clouds really do exist for people, especially as life begins to flummox them. Combined with alcohol, they’ll do you in.

Booth Tarkington found a gem of hope at the end of his novel The Magnificent Ambersons. Later that novel became a famous movie. Though they left out the game-changer scene! Did you know that at the heart of that story, there is a supernatural intervention? It’s not only credible but it succeeds.

Just like John Galsworthy’s astral moment in his…

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Relational Fissures, Proportional Loving, and Grace with Siblings

Relational Fissures, Proportional Loving, and Grace with Siblings

In honor of Kim Kardashian’s engagement to Kanye, here’s the “Grace with Siblings” section from Grace in Practice:

I once buried a man who had three sons. He was a first-generation immigrant from Europe. One of his sons had become extremely successful in the real estate business. Another had become an alcoholic at an early age and was in bad shape. The third seemed moderately happy; he had a wife and two small children and an okay job. At the gravesite the troubled son became very anxious and had to be restrained by his brothers from jumping into the open…

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PZ’s Podcast: I Am Curious (Orange) and Every Mother’s Son

PZ’s Podcast: I Am Curious (Orange) and Every Mother’s Son

EPISODE 156: I Am Curious (Orange)

This is a Protestant “take” on a kind of war horse, a Swedish war horse. Gosh, it packed a punch in its day. And gosh, how little I understood it. Like zero to nil.

Watching it again, after all this time, was devastating to me. How did I miss its message, and its reality, so completely? But I did. Completely.

Don’t go back and see it, in any event. It’s too much to take in: how wrong you were, and how wrong categorization is, in particular. That the Golden Oldie of which I speak was never about…

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PZ’s Podcast: Groovy Kind of Love, Love in the 40s, Kramer, and Mandy

PZ’s Podcast: Groovy Kind of Love, Love in the 40s, Kramer, and Mandy

EPISODE 152: Groovy Kind of Love

This is about increasing your love, especially when you don’t feel that much of it in relation to “certain people”.

It takes off on a comment Gerald Heard made, from his deathbed, to Christopher Isherwood on August 3, 1967. Heard’s love, the further he moved away from “life”, was increasing rather than decreasing. He said something amazing to his old friend, and his friend recorded his amazement.

The cast is also a meditation on the old saw: All cats are grey in the dark. I used to not believe that, and thought it damaged the individuality of…

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PZ’s Podcast: Girl Talk

Episode 151: Girl Talk

61-Y57WkTyLI’ve just written a new book. It is called PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion, and will be published by Mockingbird, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

“Girl Talk” is an explanation of the book’s central idea, and also an “off-the-wall” explanation of why the book doesn’t talk about certain issues that are important. Important in this world, that is. To a dying person, they are not important.

Religion, to be worth something, must have something, and something fairly good, to offer a dying person. And hey, who isn’t?

There’s no question that religion is designed to meet the quandaries of “Living in the Material World” (G. Harrison). But the Big Red One is death, and dying.

The cast is “Dedicated to the One I Love” (The Mamas and the Papas): Ray Ortlund.

Another Week Ends: Motivated Podcasts, Inverted Envy, Doofus Batman, Evensong Revelations, Rowling Rewards, Salinger Silence, Denny Lives Again, and Watterson’s Speech

Another Week Ends: Motivated Podcasts, Inverted Envy, Doofus Batman, Evensong Revelations, Rowling Rewards, Salinger Silence, Denny Lives Again, and Watterson’s Speech

1. “Want to Win a Political Debate? Try Making a Weaker Argument” reads a headline over at The Pacific Standard, and what follows is a helpful refresher on the overpowering role of self-image when it comes to argumentation. In very Haidt-esque fashion, and with the help of some fresh research, the article claims that the strongest arguments for a particular position are the ones most likely to trigger a defensive response from those who disagree. The implications for those engaged in any kind of religious or theological dialogue should be self-evident. As we all know, social psychology of this kind…

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PZ’s Podcast: A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime

PZ’s Podcast: A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime

EPISODE 149

Exactly 45 years ago, I began formal academic study of the New Testament. It began at Chapel Hill, transferred to Cambridge, Mass; continued in Nottingham; and concluded (tho’ not quite) at Tuebingen.

Looking back on it now, the whole thing was “A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime” (Dave Mason). Tho’ I still have hope.

The hope lies in the inexhaustible life and wisdom of Jesus. That’s a well that seems to never run dry, or at least it hasn’t for me.

This podcast remembers a long line of impressive scholarly mentors, a longer line of students and teachers who were “working something…

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Healthy Hearts, Smoldering Resentments, and the Starting Point of Compassion

Healthy Hearts, Smoldering Resentments, and the Starting Point of Compassion

Given the popularity of the section we posted from Paul Zahl’s Grace in Practice a few weeks ago on Competition in Marriage, here’s one that’s bound to be a little less popular… It can be found under the rather unsexy heading of “The Relation of the Un-Free Will to Compassion”–and yet it is one of the most important passages in the book, spelling out much of what lies behind this site’s focus on human limitation, i.e. its relation to love:

Perhaps the man you live with is smoldering with resentment. Most of his resentments are founded on half-facts and…

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PZ’s Podcast: Transcendence and INGSOC

PZ’s Podcast: Transcendence and INGSOC

EPISODE 147: Transcendence

You can’t fight life, otherwise known as The World, The Flesh and The Devil. Life, as H.G. Wells put it towards the end of his own, is The Antagonist. It is designed to checkmate your ego, with the result being: No One Gets Out Of Here Alive.

The way ahead has therefore got to consist in some form of “I Leap Over the Wall” (Monica Baldwin). Nothing else can work. It’s got to be Transcendence, or nothing.

This podcast appears to locate our Best Hope in Martians. A quote from Dennis Saleh, my actual chosen epitaph, is the take-off point….

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Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

1. The question of why millennials are leaving the church came back into public view this week via an opinion piece by Rachel Held Evans on CNN, the key line being, “What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.” Accessibility and format are not really the issue in other words; if anything, church-as-performance appears to be symptomatic of an insecurity in modern believers that has alienated as many as it has attracted. Evans believes the real problem is the What, not the How. Fair enough–the substance of much of what…

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Law and Grace in the Competition of Marriage (and Personal Identity)

Law and Grace in the Competition of Marriage (and Personal Identity)

Hard to believe we’ve never posted this section from Paul Zahl’s Grace in Practice before. As with most of the provocative second half of that book, it goes well beyond abstractions and gets uncomfortably close to the bone–in the best possible way. The language here has to do with marriage, but you could easily substitute a variety of other relational contexts:

Men and women encounter a serpent-ridden wilderness of Eden when they enter into marriage. Competition for need-fulfillment and attention squanders huge amounts of energy in resentment and suppressed antagonism. The nature of the law is to place every single marriage…

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PZ’s Podcast: Soul Coaxing and Sermon for the Feast Day of Hey Jude

PZ’s Podcast: Soul Coaxing and Sermon for the Feast Day of Hey Jude

EPISODE 145: Soul Coaxing

This is about the music. For it’s the music that makes me want to speak.

The other night, right in the middle of sleep — no kidding — said a “voice from above” (Joe Meek via John Leyton): “You have got to talk about ‘Soul Coaxing’”. So I did.

The music, which was actually once the soundtrack of our lives — the real soundtrack, not The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, who, great as they were, were not what most people were actually hearing at the time — is beyond good. “Soul Coaxing” is a little like “Baby, I’m Amazed”:…

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