Recent Posts

Silent Assassins: How Owls Adapted to Nocturnal Hunting

Mike Unwin— You needn’t be a birder to recognize an owl. The round face and large, forward-facing eyes immediately distinguish it from any other bird. And it is arguably this face—with its superficially human expressions—that explains why owls have maintained such a hold on our imaginations. It has led us to personify the

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Stage Fright, Shyness, and Speaking to the Crowd

Joe Moran— I have been shy for as long as I can remember. For half of my life it just seemed an inconvenience, something to live with rather than be curious about. I became interested in shyness as a subject—one that might repay careful reflection—when I began to find my

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Criminal Politicians on the World Stage

Milan Vaishnav— On February 11, voters in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) began the process of selecting the 403 men and women who will represent them in their state legislature. In India, where elections are about as frequent as a new Bollywood blockbuster, the news of yet another

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Translating a Sixteenth-Century Sufi Advice Book

Adam Sabra— Most of what Western readers know about Islamic political thought pertains to institutions such as the caliphate and sultanate or to the role of Islamic law in the construction of an Islamic society and polity. But if we examine texts that are older than our daily newspapers, we

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Asian Migration and the History of Now

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials— On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order, which banned nationals of seven countries from entering the United States, originally extended to dual citizens, green card holders, and those already

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Buddhism for a Secular Age

Stephen Batchelor— Our current use of the terms “religious” and “secular” are determined by the senses they have acquired in modernity. Since they have no equivalents in any of the classical Buddhist languages, we must use them with caution when talking of premodern Buddhism. The same is true of the

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On His Way to The Met: Max Beckmann in New York with Sabine Rewald

From our colleagues at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, here’s a great interview between Rachel High, Publishing and Marketing Assistant in the Met’s editorial department, and Sabine Rewald, curator of the exhibition Max Beckmann in New York, which you can still see until February 20th, 2017. New York energized the German

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Material Theology and Christian Religion

Terry Eagleton— One of the greatest of all Christian theologians turns out to be in some respects a full-blooded materialist. This is not entirely surprising, since Christianity itself is in some sense a materialist creed. The doctrine of the Incarnation means that God is an animal. He is present in the

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The Women Who Made the Modern Children’s Book World

Timothy Young— The history of children’s books is still being written. While there are important writers working in the field, much needs to be done to bring the rigor of mature literary, sociological, and historical investigation to this relatively young field of study. One of the challenges to research is

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