1. Writer Joshua Ferris' new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about a morbid dentist who grapples with death and atheism. In the interview Ferris explains his own religious beliefs: 

"I’m not sure that I’m entirely comfortable with being described as a non-believer only because there’s this little shadow of a doubt that I keep open. I have a character in the book describe herself as a "non-practicing atheist," and I think that’s how I would describe myself. When push comes to shove, and I’m forced to think reasonably, I affirm again and again that there is no God.
But as a rule, as I go through life, I find that can lead to a dogma that is no more welcoming to my way of thinking than the dogma of believers. So I tend to want to keep the door open an inch, which I think sounds to many people like cheating, but to me it’s simply a matter of keeping — not my options open — but my mind wide, as wide as possible, and my heart open to new possibilities.”


photo via travel ukon View in High-Res

    Writer Joshua Ferris' new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about a morbid dentist who grapples with death and atheism. In the interview Ferris explains his own religious beliefs: 

    "I’m not sure that I’m entirely comfortable with being described as a non-believer only because there’s this little shadow of a doubt that I keep open. I have a character in the book describe herself as a "non-practicing atheist," and I think that’s how I would describe myself. When push comes to shove, and I’m forced to think reasonably, I affirm again and again that there is no God.

    But as a rule, as I go through life, I find that can lead to a dogma that is no more welcoming to my way of thinking than the dogma of believers. So I tend to want to keep the door open an inch, which I think sounds to many people like cheating, but to me it’s simply a matter of keeping — not my options open — but my mind wide, as wide as possible, and my heart open to new possibilities.”

    photo via travel ukon

  2. god

    relgion

    atheism

    faith

    joshua ferris

    interview

    fresh air

  1. After years of keeping it secret, writer Barbara Ehrenreich opens up about a mystic experience she had as a teenager. It was a moment that caused her to question faith, knowledge, and God: 

"The only words I can put to it after all these years is that the world flamed into life. Everything was alive. There was a feeling of an encounter with something living, not something God-like, not something loving, not something benevolent, but something beyond any of those kinds of categories, beyond any human categories. I don’t know how many minutes this lasted in its full intensity."

Her memoir is called Living With a Wild God 
image by Kris Mukai via NYT View in High-Res

    After years of keeping it secret, writer Barbara Ehrenreich opens up about a mystic experience she had as a teenager. It was a moment that caused her to question faith, knowledge, and God: 

    "The only words I can put to it after all these years is that the world flamed into life. Everything was alive. There was a feeling of an encounter with something living, not something God-like, not something loving, not something benevolent, but something beyond any of those kinds of categories, beyond any human categories. I don’t know how many minutes this lasted in its full intensity."

    Her memoir is called Living With a Wild God 

    image by Kris Mukai via NYT

  2. barbara ehrenreich

    faith

    god

    mystical experience

  1. I was a doubter almost as soon as I became aware of what I believed. I became aware at maybe 13, 14 that I’d been drafted onto this team called Mormonism that was distinct from the Catholicism that was the norm where I grew up in Massachusetts. And I started to become aware of those differences, and instantly I was doubting them, at first privately and then, by the time I was in my late teens, quite vocally. But some of the people who were very close to me — my parents, certain friends in my congregation, or ward, as it’s called — their example meant a lot to me, and I thought, ‘What do they know that I don’t know?’ So the mission for me became a chance for me to make a large commitment, commensurate to the large amount of grace I felt I needed in order to believe what seemed, on the face of it, unbelievable things.

    — Ryan McIlvain tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross how his mission to Brazil became a way of convincing himself of his own faith

  2. Ryan McIlvain

    Elders

    Mormonism

    Faith

    Fresh Air

    Interviews

  1. Judith Shulevitz on how she reconciles her faith in science with her religious faith:



What we’re discovering is that we’re enormously malleable. We’re really responsive to our environment in a physical sense, but also in a psychological sense, in the sense that stress is one of the really big forces in epigenetic changes. So the malleability of the human body seems to me an argument for creating a better community, a better society, and that’s what I love about religion: is that it’s a place where you can turn for ideas about the good society. I recognize — as many people go around arguing — that religion can be used as a force for bad — but it can also be used as a source of ideas that drive us to the greater good. So I turn to science to tell us how to live and I turn to religion to tell us how to live and I follow neither of them slavishly.




Image by Electric Arc via Flickr Commons

    Judith Shulevitz on how she reconciles her faith in science with her religious faith:

    What we’re discovering is that we’re enormously malleable. We’re really responsive to our environment in a physical sense, but also in a psychological sense, in the sense that stress is one of the really big forces in epigenetic changes. So the malleability of the human body seems to me an argument for creating a better community, a better society, and that’s what I love about religion: is that it’s a place where you can turn for ideas about the good society. I recognize — as many people go around arguing — that religion can be used as a force for bad — but it can also be used as a source of ideas that drive us to the greater good. So I turn to science to tell us how to live and I turn to religion to tell us how to live and I follow neither of them slavishly.

    Image by Electric Arc via Flickr Commons

  2. Judith Shulevitz

    Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Fertility

    Faith

    Science

  1. I haven’t lost my faith but I’ve lost my religion. I still believe in something so deeply. … I’ve never really gotten past that quote from Anne Frank in her diary, where she says that people are really good at heart. But I feel like the Catholic Church – no – the Catholic hierarchy has been disinviting people like me and especially women like me for so many years that I finally took the hint.

    — Anna Quindlen on religion and faith [full interview here]

  2. anna quindlen

    religion

    catholic church

    faith