The Weekend Wrap


This weekend on the Dish, we focused on matters of faith and doubt, with Andrew providing his take on the debate over a 4th century Coptic text that includes Jesus mentioning his wife. Elizabeth Drescher lamented the lack of preaching about non-violence in Christian churches, Thomas Nagel and Jerry Coyne debated God and science, David Sessions used political theology to critique liberalism, Ted Hughes intimated the words of Jesus with his thoughts on the child within, Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse explored what civility means in the face of religious and moral disagreement, and Bruce Epperly meditated on the connection between God and beauty.

In literary news, Maria Bustillos deemed James Thurber the American Kafka, Kathryn Schulz defended Michael Chabon's use of Obama in his new novel, Laura Krantz highlighted a photographer's take on culinary scenes from great books, James Guida pondered Jay-Z's bonafides as a poet, and Joe Hiland explained why your fiction remains unpublished. William Gibson argued that science fiction isn't very good at predicting the future, Michael McGrath gave the reasons why cinematica portrayals of writers fall flat, Paul Elie described how the Internet changed the biographer's task, Robert McCrum marveled at writers' strange habits, and Nigel Warburton contended for poetry's philosophical merits. Read Saturday's poem here and Sunday's here.

We didn't entirely ignore politics, either. Andrew peered behind the horse race, updated us on the rolling calamity that is the Romney campaign, detailed the latest AIPAC victory in the Senate, noted Romney's sudden dip on Intrade, and savored the karma in Romney's tax return typo. Joseph McMurray examined whether the uninformed should vote, Conservatives in Canada proved to be warriors for gay equality, Walter McDougall critiqued the crusader state, Costica Bradatan explicated why we're moved by self-immolation, and a Dishead from Papa New Guinea sent us a photo of an awesome campaign billboard.

In assorted coverage, Mark Jacobson toured public housing in New York, Alex Stone revealed a magician's trick, Matt Novak analyzed the lasting influence of The Jetsons, Tracy Clark-Flory appraised the evolving science of pregnancy, Alexander Kafka panned a new movie about porn, and Richard Ingham offered a scientific primer on drinking champagne. Torie Bosch contemplated the reasons to elope, Heather Pringle evaluated the evolutionary advantages of honey, and John Fischer visited continuing care retirement communities. We asked TNC anything here and here. FOTDs here and here, MHBs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

– M.S.

(Photo by Zdenko Zivkovic)