This weekend on the Dish we provided our usual eclectic mix of religious, books, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Simone Weilthought about suffering and joy, Giles Fraser channeled Augustine and Freud, a Christian pastor exemplified trends in evangelical political engagement, and Joan Acocella proiled St. Francis of Assissi. Charles Fried pondered Lincoln’s moral genius, Walter Kirn reinterpreted the Fall, a piano tuner found freedom in giving up his possessions, and Daniel Dennett provided a hypothetical question religious fanaticism. George Herbert’s religious poetry proved its ecumenical appeal, Mark Oppenheimer mused on non-celebrity Scientologists, and Kinsley was Kinsley as he reviewed Lawrence Wright’s new study of Scientology.
In literary and arts coverage, Mario Bustillos read Edmund Burke, George Saunders ruminated on technology and fiction, Ruth Padel found the poet behind the Sylvia Plath mythology, and Robert Fay reminded us that T.S. Eliot was good at his day job. Vladimir Nabokav classified Kafka, Stefany Anne Golberg learned about love from Waiting for Godot, and great writers emphasized the importance of revision. Linda Besner surveyed the education of George Orwell, James Franco riffed on heteronormative love stories, Joshua Lewis believed Scrabble needs an update, and Jimmy Stamp visited a scent museum. Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.
In assorted news and views, Jeremy Schaap interviewed Manti Te’o, Robert Moorgot in cars with strangers, pot turned out to be popular in North Korea, and Ann Friedman considered the tradeoffs of being a female breadwinner. Michael Popp recounted the impact of his cancer diagnosis, Laura June uncovered this history of pinball’s ban in NYC, and Aaron Gilbreth explored the fate of L.A.’s last dive bar. Mac McClelland reported on families of PTSD patients, Tom Dibblee defended Bud Light Lime, Jill Filipovic savaged a NYT trend piece on millenial dating habits, and Claire L Evans confronted her digital shadow. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here, and the latest window contest here.
(Photo: From the series “Album” by Jon Uriarte)