Monthly Archives: December 2012

Memory Art (Event of A Thread) (Ann Hamilton)

Went to the Park Avenue Armory to see Ann Hamilton’s The Event of A Thread. The centerpiece is a diaphonous white curtain bisecting the drill hall. The whole billowing thing rises and falls in response to the people who come to … Continue reading

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Modern Technolgy Modern Religion (Martin Buber & Louis Mumford)

(illustration by Andrew Zbihlyj) Reading John Lardas Modern’s essay “Thinking about Melville, Religion, and Machines That Think” led me to understand a basic point about 1920s German Jewish philosophy, modern Jewish thought, as well as continental theory. The essay appears … Continue reading

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Song of Songs (Totality of Torah) (Kabbalah & Aesthetic Judaism)

(E.M. Lilien, E.M. “Das Stille Lied”, from Das Buch Juda: Gesaenge by Börries Freiherr von Münchhausen) What’s more important, law or poetry? I used to think that Torah is law. And I used to think you were supposed to think … Continue reading

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More Aesthetic Judaism (Animals)

What is a blessing? Take a look at Genesis chapter 49 for Jacob’s deathbed blessing over his children. The first thing in the first verse is that a blessing is a prophecy, a reference to “acharit yamim,” or the end … Continue reading

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Taste (Religion & Aesthetics) (Guest Post by Ed Mooney)

Of late, I’ve been circling around an essay in the New Yorker by Zadie Smith about taste. Once aesthetics is introduced into the study of religion, it begins to make sense of these little things like taste and serendipity that often … Continue reading

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(Effortless) Taste (Writing Religion, Theory, and Jewish Philosophy)

Glancing through the latest edition of New York Magazine, I was struck by the effortlessness and fluid charm with which the food critic reviewed new eating establishments in the city. You can read it here.  Getting jealous, I compared that … Continue reading

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A Dog (Inside at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) (December 23, 2012)

Someone says, what’s a dog doing in a museum? I think I might have passed by at first, not really noticing. But there it was, all out of place, but sort of not really, a chihuahua and its human in front … Continue reading

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Post-Orthodox, Post-Post Secularism

(Rembrandt, Belshazzar’s Feast, 1636) Is the writing on the wall for religion, religious studies, post secularism and “theo-politics?” I really liked this post by Alan Brill on his blog over at the Book of Doctrines and Opinions. http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/post-orthodoxy/. It suggests what … Continue reading

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Electric Folk Religion (Christmas in Baltimore)

Christmas used to get me down when I was young; not so much anymore. I bucked against the minoritarian status I felt it imposed upon me. Maybe it had something to do with the anti-Semitism at the WASP-y  prep school … Continue reading

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Lonely Christmas (Dead Meme?)

As an outsider looking in, this article about Christmas by Carolyn Briggs in the New York Times Sunday Style section made me very sad, and very curious, because, “if I were Christian, I would probably…” I guess it’s true that … Continue reading

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