Sunday surprise the second — the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God

[ by Charles Cameron — wishing you all blessings on the Fourth ] . My eye was caught today by yet another disaster — which in turn reminded me of tomorrow, the Fourth of July. It’s just one example among many: Flood hits mosque in Pakistan, dozens feared dead — Mike Walker (@New_Narrative) July […] Read more »

Aman, or reciprocal safety under Islamic law

[ by Charles Cameron — what eye do you use when there’s more going on than meets the eye? ] . Twice in one day, a week or so ago, I had reason to look up the meaning of “aman” in Islamic law. My source here was M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse, eds., Religion, War, […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

A powerful, credible narrative?

[ by Charles Cameron — how about a powerful, credible foreign policy? — maybe that’s asking too much ] . ** James P. Farwell‘s piece in the National Interest, Information Warfare: The Key to Destroying ISIS, claims: A coalition of Shia militias, Iraqi government forces and anti-ISIS Suncni tribesman are making progress towards ejecting ISIS […] Read more »

So: how does it feel at World’s End?

[ by Charles Cameron — on conveying the experience of the eschatological — on the way to better understanding the allure of IS ] . ** WE ARE ENTERING PHASE TWO: I think we’re entering Phase Two of our conversations about Islamist eschatology. In Phase One, the task was to point out that apocalyptic scriptures […] Read more »

What to do About ISIS? Constructing Strategy, Weighing Options

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] ISIS or the Islamic State “Caliphate” is the focus  of a great deal of discussion and demands for action from the United States – and also inaction – from many quarters. What is to be done? That is a famous question.  In matters of geopolitics and strategy, it is more […] Read more »

On Sacrament: the world transfigured

[ by Charles Cameron -- moving from magic to sacrament and from word to world -- with implications for the study of terrorism and torture ] . ** Tara Isabella Burton, in a recent Atlantic article Study Theology, Even If You Don’t Believe in God, nailed it, in my personal opinion: But the dwindling role [...] Read more »

Warren McCulloch’s lifetime koan

[ by Charles Cameron -- from intuitive leap to confirmation in a celebrated paper by neurophysiologist and cybernetician Warren McCulloch ] . As I mentioned in my earlier post, Close reading, Synoptic- and Sembl-style, for parallels, patterns, there are times when my HipBone-influenced style of reading suggests the presence of a hidden piece of text [...] Read more »

Serpentine logic: enantiodromia, or a sudden turn of events

[ by Charles Cameron -- an intriguing example of enantiodromia aka reversal or the hairpin bend ] . Let’s start with this tweet from Glenn Greenwald on September 11th 2013, a dozen years on from that tragic day: A coalition of current and former military, police, and other public officials place huge pro-Snowden ad in [...] Read more »