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Posts tagged "Terry Eagleton"

Another Week Ends: Amy Chua's Three Traits for Success, Nietzsche's Subversion of Atheism, Why Fun Is Fun, The Eighth-Grade Ubermensch, Dostoevsky's Internet Anxiety and Lena Dunham's Eden

Another Week Ends: Amy Chua’s Three Traits for Success, Nietzsche’s Subversion of Atheism, Why Fun Is Fun, The Eighth-Grade Ubermensch, Dostoevsky’s Internet Anxiety and Lena Dunham’s Eden

1. What happens when you combine an unshakeable superiority complex with deep insecurity? Probably a nervous breakdown in mid-life, or Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan. But Amy Chua (of “Tiger Mother” fame) asks us to guess again. The real answer is… success.

For those unfamiliar with her work on hyper-controlling parenting (using that adjective as value-neutrally as possible), it’s ruffled our feathers before. And her new book on success – with its threefold foundation of superiority, insecurity, and impulse control – promises to do so again, ht ER:

Some have denounced the book as racist. This loaded term is often bandied about in discussions about culture…

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Another Week Ends: Secret Auden, Eagleton Deicide, Remembering Wes, Method Acting, True Detective, and Russian Tourist Tips

Another Week Ends: Secret Auden, Eagleton Deicide, Remembering Wes, Method Acting, True Detective, and Russian Tourist Tips

1. Holy smokes! Have you read Edward Mendelson’s “The Secret Auden” in the NY Review of Books?! If not, run don’t walk. It’s a jaw-dropping, incredibly inspiring catalog of the clandestine episodes of grace initiated by our all-time favorite Wystan–about as honest a Matthew 6:5 vibe as I’ve come across in ages. Lest these remarkable stories be dismissed as mere hagiography, Mendelson (author of the indispensable Later Auden) doesn’t lionize the great poet, instead tracing the ‘good works’ back to their root–which is not a sense of earning or credit (clearly) but of genuine humility brought on by piercing self-knowledge….

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Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

1. We’ve spoken before about why we so often feel the need to conceive of our lives as a narrative of progress or upward-sloping trajectory. We’ve tried to highlight the dangers this poses, especially when the progress is understood to be moral or spiritual in nature. An instinct that can sometimes help us make sense of our lives (and we need all the help we can get!), when left unchecked can end up obscuring reality (where God is) and compounding loneliness. On The Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire explores this phenomenon in some detail, particularly in relation to Dan McAdams’ new…

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No Possibility of a Smooth Evolution: An Atheist's Good Friday Sermon

No Possibility of a Smooth Evolution: An Atheist’s Good Friday Sermon

From Terry Eagleton’s lecture series, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate, in which Eagleton criticizes the approach of new atheists Richard Dawkins and Hitch (God rest his soul), or “Ditchkins,” as Eagleton calls them. Raised a Catholic and currently finding it “hard to say” what his current stand is on matters of faith, Eagleton’s primary interest lies in mining Christian theology for insights valuable to the Marxist. But along the way he demonstrates an understanding of the Christian Gospel better than many of those coming from a pulpit:

“Raising of Lazarus,” Guercino

[F]or Christian teaching, God’s love and forgiveness…

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Another Week Ends: Colbert's Gratitude, Eagleton's Jesus, Silent Men, Parenthood, Buck, Twilight Sparkle, and Sendak on Blake

Another Week Ends: Colbert’s Gratitude, Eagleton’s Jesus, Silent Men, Parenthood, Buck, Twilight Sparkle, and Sendak on Blake

1. Midway through The New York Times Magazine’s lengthy profile of America’s favorite all-around man-of-excellence Stephen Colbert, a bomb drops. To comment on his words might detract from their power. Holy Smokes, ht NM:

In 1974, when Colbert was 10, his father, a doctor, and his brothers Peter and Paul, the two closest to him in age, died in a plane crash while flying to a prep school in New England. “There’s a common explanation that profound sadness leads to someone’s becoming a comedian, but I’m not sure that’s a proven equation in my case,” he told me. “I’m not bitter…

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Another Week Ends: Terry Eagleton, Nar-Anon, Crazy Stupid Love, Pottermore, Depression No-No's, Drones, Speidi & Achtung Baby

Another Week Ends: Terry Eagleton, Nar-Anon, Crazy Stupid Love, Pottermore, Depression No-No’s, Drones, Speidi & Achtung Baby

1. Over at PatrolMag, David Sessions posted a terrific interview with British literary critic Terry Eagleton concerning, among other things, “Capitalism and the West’s Existential Crisis.” The occasion for the interview is the release of Eagleton’s new book on Marxism. Of course, Eagleton is not your garden variety Marxist (thank God), and regardless of your political convictions, his reflections are a good companion to the “relentlessly depressing debt ceiling news,” as Sessions memorably puts it. For example:

Sessions: While we’re talking about belief, in your Terry Lectures at Yale in 2008, you described Christianity as both more gloomy than any other…

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Another Week Begins: God vs Science, R.Crumb, Chris Christie, Social Justice, The Amazing Race and Dr. Null

Another Week Begins: God vs Science, R.Crumb, Chris Christie, Social Justice, The Amazing Race and Dr. Null

1. On the off chance that you didn’t see William McGurn’s powerful editorial in last week’s Wall Street Journal, “God vs. Science isn’t the issue”, here’s a few lines from it:

Here’s the problem: Almost no one really believes [that human beings do not possess some form of “special dignity” in comparison to other life forms]. Not, at least, when it comes to how we behave. And the dichotomy between scientific theory and human action may itself have something to tell us about truth.

Many Americans who are indifferent to faith will confess they find themselves challenged as they try to raise…

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Thoughtful Faith Pieces from the New Yorker

Thoughtful Faith Pieces from the New Yorker

Over the past couple of months, I have been really impressed by a couple of different book reviews from the New Yorker that center around issues of faith. The authors have not always reached the conclusions that we might hope, but their honesty and insight have been quite striking. Below are a few quotes with links:

From an article about the recent glut of books on the so-called Gospel of Judas:

Cumulatively, the commentaries on the Judas gospel are amazing in their insistence on its upbeat character. Jesus ridicules his disciples, denounces the world, and says that most of us will…

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Another Week Ends: Dylan, Niebuhr, Star Trek, Stanley Fish and Green Day

Another Week Ends: Dylan, Niebuhr, Star Trek, Stanley Fish and Green Day

1. Bob Dylan’s new record, Together Through Life, has left me a bit cold, which I’m chalking up to the fact that the lyrics were written with Robert Hunter (of Grateful Dead fame). But in his recent Rolling Stone interview, the master offered some characteristically profound thoughts on his identity:

“I’ve never seen [Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home documentary]. Well, a lot of that footage was gathered up from the Sixties. So I’d seen that, and I thought that was like looking at a different character. But it certainly was powerful. And I don’t, or can’t, do that anymore…”

“Popular music has…

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