Open House at the Freemasons’ Hall: Some Reflections on Symbols and Identities

In late September the Freemasons’ Hall took part in ‘Open House London’, an annual event celebrating architecture and design throughout London. The Hall, which acts as the United Grand Lodge of England’s (UGLE) headquarters, is typically open to public visitors, but marked the Open House event with additional displays, tours, and exhibits. As chance wouldContinue reading “Open House at the Freemasons’ Hall: Some Reflections on Symbols and Identities”

BASR 2019

This week saw the annual conference for the British Association for the Study of Religions, hosted at Leeds Trinity University. I have been a regular attendee/presenter at the BASR since 2014. It is always an enjoyable conference for a number of reasons: it is an invigorating start to the academic year, provides an encouraging atmosphereContinue reading “BASR 2019”

A Plea for a More Progressive Atheism

It has been 12 years since the New Atheism explosion – a renewed conversation regarding atheism, secularism, and the ‘godless’ – commonly associated with the ‘Four Horsemen’: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. Publications from these writers, such as Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Hitchens’ God is not Great, became hugely popularContinue reading “A Plea for a More Progressive Atheism”

‘If You’re Feeling Faint, Appeal to a Saint’: Sparks’ Approach to Religious Themes and Pop Music

Art-pop band Sparks, consisting of brothers Ron and Russell Mael, have been renowned throughout their career to not shy away from the more obscure topics and subject matters in their music. Their approach to acerbic lyrics has recently resulted in a plethora of songs that use religious imagery in a number of striking ways.