Skepticism, Faith and Compassion in “FairyTale: A True Story” (1997)

This is what really happened; in 1917, and again in 1920, two rural English schoolgirl cousins went into the local woods and took photographs of paper cutouts shaped like fairies. All historical evidence suggests that the girls intended nothing more than a simple, silly prank, which then spiraled out of their control. As one of … Read moreSkepticism, Faith and Compassion in “FairyTale: A True Story” (1997)

The Rogers Park Black Lives Matter Shrine, Updated

Over the course of the winter, the Black Lives Matter shrine in Rogers Park, Chicago has grown from a gallery of posters and a scattering of flowers and candles into the much more elaborate memorial shown above, complete with an ornate wooden altar. The repurposed Chicago Reader newspaper vending box next to the altar stores … Read moreThe Rogers Park Black Lives Matter Shrine, Updated

“Memorial Ritual and Art: A Case Study and Exploration of the Potential for Healing”

Click here to read Cinder Hypki, Rhonda S. Cooper and Louise Knight’s paper examining the use of ritual in grieving and healing processes: The powerful symbolic and metaphorical nature of ritual is a compelling “medium” unto itself for community artists and cultural workers. “Performance artists” and artist-activists often use elements of ritual to engage and … Read more“Memorial Ritual and Art: A Case Study and Exploration of the Potential for Healing”

“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

The Somerset market town of Glastonbury has a long and highly storied history, being closely connected in legend to both the coming of Christianity to England and to a vast stream of pre- and post-Christian “alternative spiritualities”. The modern township includes representatives of some seventy religious and spiritual persuasions and the main shopping district is … Read more“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

The Placebo Magick Podcast on the Metaphorical Afterlife

“Placebo Magick” is Garrison Benson’s podcast series explaining his concept of “magick” from a strictly non-supernatural, psychological point of view; as he says, “magick is a metaphor, and metaphors are magickal”. In this episode he considers the advantages of imaginary afterlives and also the practical legacy lessons to be drawn from this perspective on death … Read moreThe Placebo Magick Podcast on the Metaphorical Afterlife

The Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Poetic Faith and Nontheistic Spirituality

Nontheistic spirituality or spiritual naturalism are umbrella terms for spiritual disciplines that require no faith in the literally supernatural. Examples include Humanism, numerous forms of atheistic/secular Paganism, Humanistic Judaism, Secular Buddhism, The Satanic Temple’s approach to Satanism and so-on, as well as present-day revivals of ancient philosophies such as Stoicism and Epicureanism. My Way of … Read moreThe Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Poetic Faith and Nontheistic Spirituality

The Death Land Series

Leah Green, a reporter for The Guardian, offers this seven-part series of short videos exploring responses to death. Throughout, Green – who suffers from death-related anxiety – maintains a healthy balance of rational skepticism and curiosity in her encounters with immortalists attempting to prolong their lives indefinitely, survivors of near-death experiences, organizers of death café … Read moreThe Death Land Series