Arts & Leisure

The Empathy Exams’ call for courage

Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams is a tightly woven examination of a human expression that, according to Jamison, is more posture than emotion, more a way of being in the world than a way of feeling. And the way that Jamison's essays engage empathy - as pained observer, as awkward…  [more]

The unassuming faith of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou didn’t call herself a Christian. The famed poet, memoirist, activist and author, who chronicled her life in several autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, saw calling yourself a Christian as referring to something that was complete, rather than a work in progress. “I’m always amazed…  [more]

Barbara Ehrenreich’s ‘Wild God’ and making room for wonder

Imagine you are a fourth-generation atheist. Prayers to a benevolent God are absent from your experience. Whatever is rational and whatever is scientifically understood is privileged as truth. The world is knowable through science. So what happens when you have an experience in your teenage years that is beyond words…  [more]

Deity as commodity in Foreign Gods, Inc.

Okey Ndibe’s novel Foreign Gods, Inc. is the tragicomic journey of a New York cabdriver named Ike - a Nigerian immigrant desperate for wealth and willing to steal and sell his home village’s war deity statue in order to get it. Ike’s plan is risky, reckless and culturally disrespectful; it…  [more]

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