Category: theory

The Origin of Evil

Long, long ago the first animal ate the second animal. Then the first animal became food for the third animal. All animals hungered, hunted, ate, and became food for other animals. The world was an epic food orgy—a bone-crushing, blood-drinking drama unburdened with self-consciousness or guilt. Over eons and eons animals evolved into primates, then…

Sacred Space and the Southwest

Sacrality is, above, all a category of emplacement. –Jonathan Z. Smith A few years I saw a map of Christendom put forth by a Protestant Reformation Society in which the catholic countries were painted black, and the protestant countries in a light color. The black was the Kingdom of the Beast where the children of…

How Is a Ritual Like a Dutch Bike?

When I first began teaching in the Netherlands, I marvelled at the number of Dutch bikes that swarmed the streets. Exiting Velorama, Nijmegen’s tightly packed little bike museum, I jokingly said to a colleague, “The Dutch imagination is profoundly ‘bicyciular.’” Each time I was back in Nijmegen, I had to walk past a bike shop….