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Religion Remixed

Present tense: Worshipping and performing in the digital age

By Tara Isabella Burton — April 30, 2020

(RNS) — How we inhabit, explore and become vulnerable in spaces traditionally understood as ‘disembodied’ or ‘low stakes’ is among the most important artistic questions of our digital age.

Can the wellness industry survive this sickness?

By Tara Isabella Burton — April 24, 2020

(RNS) — For those privileged enough to minimize their exposure to COVID-19, wellness culture transforms the current crisis into something meaningful, even positive.

Peter, Malchus and our nameless saviors of the coronavirus crisis

By Tara Isabella Burton — April 14, 2020

(RNS) — Being displaced from the physical presence of church has turned our attention to the human beings we know and those whose names we’ll never know.

Fleshly sacraments in a viral, virtual world

By Tara Isabella Burton — April 7, 2020

(RNS) — Marrying in Central Park in the middle of a quarantine, we inadvertently found ourselves something of an attraction for all of New York City.

Location, location, location? How coronavirus is reshaping our sense of place

By Tara Isabella Burton — March 24, 2020

(RNS) — The rise of the ‘social distancing social life’ makes it clearer than ever that the places that shape us are no longer the hometowns, houses of worship and other communities we take as a given.

While we make the best of a pandemic, coronavirus is making the best of us

By Tara Isabella Burton — March 18, 2020

(RNS) — The past few weeks have put the lie to our illusions of self-sufficiency. We have always been responsible to one another for everything. We’re just noticing it now.

Does giving up social media for Lent deny the flesh? It’s complicated

By Tara Isabella Burton — March 10, 2020

(RNS) — If abstention from Instagram or Twitter is going to be more than a ‘digital detox,’ we need a new and better vocabulary to discuss the characteristic sins of 2020.

Fleeing coronavirus and finding our mortality

By Tara Isabella Burton — March 3, 2020

(RNS) — Our reaction to the coronavirus threat is also a statement about our need for control: our bodies, our world.

Once the excess before a Lenten fast, today’s Carnevale is rite for many traditions

By Tara Isabella Burton — February 25, 2020

(RNS) — In an age of spiritual uncertainty, more and more of us are finding our spiritual ‘tribes’ within existing religious traditions, be they pagan nature worship or medieval Catholicism.

Jordan Peterson’s perfectly Petersonian health scare

By Tara Isabella Burton — February 18, 2020

(RNS) — The 21st century’s most vocal proponent of manly self-reliance is reportedly suffering from chemical dependence. It’s telling that Peterson’s family has carefully explained his illness in terms that agree with his self-help themes.

‘Self-Care Barbie’ brings moral perfection to the younger set

By Tara Isabella Burton — February 12, 2020

(RNS) — Barbie’s aspirational qualities here are neither those of beauty nor those of career success, but rather quasi-spiritual purity.

Canceling authors: The debate over who owns our stories

By Tara Isabella Burton — February 6, 2020

(RNS) — In the age of fan fiction, the age of memes, the age of mashups and YouTube compilations, we no longer take for granted that there is a single, fixed narrative — one that belongs to the author, by virtue of him or her having invented it.

Making sense of Mr. Peanut’s senseless death

By Tara Isabella Burton — January 28, 2020

(RNS) — Greater love has no man than this, Jesus once said, than a man lay down his life for his friends. In 2020, it’s Mr. Peanut who makes this a thing.

Gwyneth Paltrow trolls the wellness industry

By Tara Isabella Burton — January 17, 2020

(RNS) — Unlike other companies that commodify our spiritual yearnings, Goop exists apart from the question of whether anyone has ever actually bought any of its products.

Why ‘Cats’ is a musical for our time

By Tara Isabella Burton — January 13, 2020

(RNS) — The earnest shlock and high camp of ‘Cats’ — what else can we call Taylor Swift playing a feline in a pastiche of Eliot’s Anglo-Catholic mysticism? — captures our current state of dread.

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