Friends of the Devil?: Deadheads, Religion and Spirituality

Scott Muir In a recent Sacred Matters post, Gary Laderman suggested that the recent widespread celebration of the Grateful Dead represents both a plentiful harvest of the seeds sown in the countercultural upheaval of the 1960s and a harbinger of the future of religious life in a country increasingly disaffiliated from major religious traditions. Earlier this month, I surveyed 147 Deadheads. 

What Pixar’s “Inside Out” Teaches Us About Suffering

Jonathan Orbell When my wife suggested we go out and see Pixar’s newly released Inside Out, I agreed, albeit reluctantly. “I’ll be asleep within 20 minutes,” I thought. Suffice it to say, I’m not really a “kids movie” kind of guy; more of an “old soul.” I was in for one hell of a surprise. Inside Out consists of two parallel storylines. The first, occurring in the “real” world, tells the story of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), an 11-year-old Minnesotan girl whose family moves out to San Francisco.

Institutional Racism: Anywhere, U.S.A.

Luís León The horrific events in Charleston recently have prompted a robust and much needed conversation on race and the privileges and disadvantages that adhere to it. While conceding that racism continues through individual animus, the political right advances the mythology that institutional racism has ceased, ignoring social inequities such as economic disparity, educational opportunity, incarceration rates, and even life expectancy.

The Future of Religion Is…. The Dead

Gary Laderman

I have seen the future of religion… and it looks a lot like a Grateful Dead concert. With all of the hype and hullabaloo surrounding the Dead’s 50th anniversary and recent concerts, it is easy to discern some features of America’s new spiritual landscape in the testimonials and commentaries pervading the media coverage of this historic moment.