Self-Awareness Archive

Quoted: Joan Didion on Cultivating Self-Reflection

“The ability to think for one’s self depends upon one’s mastery of the language.” ~ Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

3 for Thursday: 3 Challenges for My Students This Semester

Every semester I have a laundry list of things that I want my students to learn. My courses are in religious studies, religious history, and philosophy (undergraduate and graduate), so there is never a shortage of challenges for my students. Regardless of the class, these three below are part of my guiding philosophy of

Micro-Review: Lost at Sea

I first heard of Jon Ronson in 2011 when he read an excerpt of his book The Psychopath Test on This American Life. A British journalist, he’s known for his investigative reports for the Guardian and has a popular BBC Radio show. Lost at Sea is a collection of essays that originally appeared in

3 for Thursday: 3 Views on Homophobia

Perhaps the quintessential example of homophobia is that of Westboro Baptist Church. We all know them by their signs and protests of soldier’s funerals, declaring God’s judgment on America for not hating the LGBT community enough. It is fair enough to say that even Christians who are opposed to gay marriage find Westboro to

Quoted: Upton Sinclair on Willful Ignorance

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair.

The Rise of Neuroexistentialism

Last weekend I reviewed Patricia Churchland’s Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain, which explores the reality of the brain behind what we know as “the self.” There is a Copernican moment occurring in brain science that raises serious questions about the nature of who and what we are, creating an potential existential crisis

Quoted: Iris Murdoch on Self-Delusion

“One should go easy on smashing other people’s lies. Better to concentrate on one’s own.” ~ Iris Murdoch, Henry and Cato

Book Review: Touching a Nerve

A pillar of most religious belief is the idea of the self as soul. There are always variations on this theme, but the immaterial side---especially in Western thought---is that which is the true you and that which makes spirituality possible. The self as soul has been assumed to be the case by theologians and
In search of belief changing ideas