Malala Yousafzai in December 2013 - Photo courtesy Diogenes 013 via Wikimedia Commons (

2013’s top moments in religion, entertainment, and religious entertainment

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” No, TS Eliot did not say these words in 2013. But they’re a good place to start as we think about this most recent trip around the sun and the voices that made it what it was. No voice was as culturally heralded (or commented on) as that of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis.


Iranian New Year, and the War on Iran

In this Youtube lecture on the occasion of the Persian New Year, I point out that the poetic tradition of Iran contains powerfully illuminating lessons for how to respond to constant war-mongering against Iran today.