First Church of Intersectionality

I recently attended an academic conference at the University of Notre Dame called “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race.” It felt like a return to my undergraduate years in the early 1990s. I saw women with shaved heads wearing ethnic print scarves, Birkenstocks, . . . . Continue Reading »

Gnostic Liberalism

The idea that human beings are non-bodily persons inhabiting non-personal bodies never quite goes away. Although the mainstreams of Christianity and Judaism long ago rejected it, what is sometimes described as “body-self dualism” is back with a vengeance, and its followers are legion. Whether in . . . . Continue Reading »

Gnostic Longings

Complaints about aging contain an implicit affirmation of the body, rooted in the truth that our bodies are us. When our bodies ail, we ail; when they fail, we fail. We touch the world—lovers and enemies, soccer and sunsets, sonnets and sushi—only through eyes and ears and brains and nerves and hands and tongues. Continue Reading »

Obergefell and the New Gnosticism

For decades, the Sexual Revolution was supposed to be about freedom. Today, it is about coercion. Once, it sought to free our sexual choices from restrictive laws and unwanted consequences. Now, it seeks to free our sexual choices from other people's disapproval. Continue Reading »

The Da Vinci Code All Over Again

Sabar investigated the seller of the artifact—a shady German fellow named Walter Fritz, whose varied exploits and proclivities make the characters in the Da Vinci Code seem downright conventional. A university dropout and part-time pornographer, Fritz managed to fabricate a Gnostic artifact that duped one of the world’s leading experts on early, extra-canonical Christianity, plus enough of her peers to satisfy the Harvard Theological Review. How did this happen? Perhaps the appeal of Gnosticism, for a certain type of scholar, made this artifact too good to check. Continue Reading »

Letters

TeachersIn his “Re-Educate for America” (November), Malcolm Rivers identifies correctly the cultural hegemony that undergirds the educational establishment (and the leadership class) in America. A decade ago, as a New York City Teaching Fellow (a program in lockstep with Teach for America), I . . . . Continue Reading »

Humanity 4.5

For ancient philosophers, the dignity of contemplation lay in its fulfillment of our longing for truth. The architects of modern thought championed analysis for the sake of ever-greater power and security. The utopian island of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis features a massive research facility for . . . . Continue Reading »