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Religion Remixed

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.

How we all became Jedis

By Tara Isabella Burton — December 20, 2019
(RNS) — After nearly 40 years, the Star Wars saga is almost complete, and the decades-long journey of the Jedi is ending. But the spiritual legacy of the Jedi is sure to last much longer.

Keeping the longing for Christ in Christmas

By Tara Isabella Burton — December 16, 2019
(RNS) — Advent, with its carols and holiday parties, may be the last vestige of a liturgical life lived in common. But even those who want to keep the Christ in Christmas forget that the season is about the hunger that we feel for the redeemed world.

The sin and self-care of Peloton

By Tara Isabella Burton — December 9, 2019
(RNS) — Peloton isn’t to blame if our culture is obsessed with self-improvement or for the quasi-eroticization of ‘decadent’ self-care. It's just riding alongside.

As the Chick-fil-A flap shows, the brands we buy are increasingly a values proposition

By Tara Isabella Burton — November 22, 2019
(RNS) — Chick-Fil-A may have capitulated to market forces by ending its support of conservative groups. But its about-face says less about “cancel culture” than about the American spiritual marketplace.

The next stage of witch resistance is here

By Tara Isabella Burton — November 15, 2019
(RNS) — If all realities are equally plausible in the Internet age, then there is no reason that magic should be less plausible, indeed less powerful, than any other form of reality-creation.

Behind Weird Christian Twitter, millennials bent on rebelliously orthodox belief

By Tara Isabella Burton — November 8, 2019
(RNS) — Weird Christianity may still be a fringe identity, but it gets at a much bigger question about the future of Christianity in an increasingly fragmented, irreligious age.

A ‘Joker’ — and a world — gone mad from nihilism

By Tara Isabella Burton — October 17, 2019
(RNS) — Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix alike imbue the character with such fundamental dignity, even in his abasement, that we never forget that we are called to love him, not laugh at him.

Witch season provides a deep look into the millennial mindset

By Tara Isabella Burton — October 10, 2019
(RNS) — The witch trend says something about the current generation's dependence on technology to fashion selves we can identify with and love.

Millennial morality lends ‘The Good Place’ its theology — and popularity

By Tara Isabella Burton — October 2, 2019
(RNS) — Eleanor and her fellow millennials on CBS' afterlife sitcom would rather change the rules for getting into heaven than submit to traditions that don't fit their best selves.

Growing the religious left by confessing our sins against nature to plants

By Tara Isabella Burton — September 23, 2019
(RNS) — For these progressive Christians, the language of social justice is a way of translating the gospel message of a kingdom of heaven on earth into a contemporary world.

Caroline Calloway and the cost of creating the ‘best self’

By Tara Isabella Burton — September 11, 2019
(RNS) — The second that your 'best self' becomes too obviously an illusion, its moral authority collapses. It’s simply, well, a lie.

From ‘Hot Priest Summer’ to ‘Christian Girl Autumn’

By Tara Isabella Burton — September 5, 2019
(RNS) — Priests are hot, from TV's 'Fleabag' to the ubiquitous 'Hot Priest' calendars, but it's not just that they are forbidden. It's that they are coming out of their usual unapproachable roles.
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