Click here to listen to my recent discussion with Stephen Bradford Long on the Sacred Tension podcast, centered on the themes of mythmaking, poetic faith and nontheistic ritual/religion.
Dale McGowan writes for OnlySky, the new secular/Humanist multimedia platform, on the vexing question of “what is it like to die?”: There are ways to diminish the fear of death and dying. Epicurus may have been the first to formally note that our existence is bounded by symmetrical eternities. We fear the eternity of nonexistence … Read more“Will I Go Gentle?”
Professor Elizabeth Scarborough muses on potential futures for discarded monumental statues: Monuments are objects designed and created intentionally to remind us of something worth honoring. According to J.B. Jackson, “A traditional monument, as the origin of the word indicates, is an object which is supposed to remind us of something important. That is to say, … Read more“Burying the Dead Monuments”
Mortem is a two-week long, daily online artist residency arranged by Ayatana’s Biophilium: The virtual residency will involve daily live video lectures with international death care and funeral industry workers, historians, biologists and artists on a range of death related topics, one tethered international field trip in a graveyard near you and several short one … Read moreMortem: an Online Residency for Thanatocurious Artists
Folk banjoist Clifton Hicks conjures the Appalachian Reaper, “Old Leatherstocking”, in these memento mori songs from his album of that title.
The next rendition of my Art of Ritual course for the Morbid Academy (the online teaching branch of the popular Morbid Anatomy enterprise) begins on April 20th: The intangible culture of death ceremony became increasingly bureaucratized throughout the Industrial Age, as hospitals, businesses, religious institutions and civic authorities overtook what had previously been intimate, participatory … Read moreThe Art of Ritual: Changing Ways of Life and Death (April/May 2022)
My Way of Life and Death draws significant inspiration from the mid-late 20th century American counterculture, which began and flowered (for most practical purposes) in Northern California. Above is a selection of joke courses “offered” by the Communiversity, an experimental San Franciscan free school. The “Deathskool” curriculum is a parody of the type of courses … Read moreDeathskool (1976)
Aeon editor Sam Dresser offers the Epicurean perspective on life in relation to mortality: Key points – How to not fear your death * The end of your existence is inevitable. The question is whether or not you should fear it.* Epicurus, and many others besides, have argued that there are reasons not to fear … Read more“How to not fear your death”
I was recently interviewed for the popular Criminal podcast on the shady business of the “ghost racket” – the early 20th century scam of using mind games and magic tricks to convince bereaved people that spiritualistic “mediums” could contact the spirits of the dead. Among other things, we discuss the friendship (and then bitter rivalry) … Read more“The Ghost Racket Crusade”