As organized religion declines, particularly among younger Americans, a constellation of spiritual and sense-making phenomena appear to be taking its place. This week,and Editor-at-Large are joined by the author whose upcoming book Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians, chronicles how our sense of self has evolved over time alongside political, religious and societal change.
Damir and Christine interrogate Tara’s argument that in adhering excessively to individualism, a principle with deep roots in both liberal and Christian traditions, an imbalance has neglected the importance of integrating self-desire, direct contact and communal ties to find meaning. As a result, a renaissance of alternatives to traditional faith — from fitness and astrology to post-rationalism and cosmic vibes — have culminated into a crisis of spirituality.
In the full episode (for paying subscribers only), Christine, Damir and Tara discuss the necessity of defining progress, particularly among believers, and how these new belief systems are themselves indicative of “frivolity” and “decadence”. The three also contemplate the uniqueness of human beings and the potential for new versions of spirituality to emerge with greater technology advancement.
Video of this podcast will be available next week.
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Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians, by Tara Isabella Burton (Amazon).
Strange Rites, by Tara Isabella Burton (Amazon).
“Rational Magic,” by Tara Isabella Burton (The New Atlantis).
“The Man Who Spends $2 Million a Year to Look 18 Is Swapping Blood With His Father and Son,” by Ashlee Vance (Bloomberg).
“On animate intelligence,” from Dhananjay Jagannathan’s Substack.
“An entire generation is losing hope. Enter the witch.” by Christine Emba (Washington Post).
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