Essays and Journalism


The Los Angeles Review of Books – Are We Still Postmodern?: On Stuart Jeffries’ “Everything, All the Time, Everywhere”

Aeon – A New Paganism

The Millions – On AI, Authorship, and Algorithms

LitHub – Baroque, Purple, and Beautiful: In Praise of the Long, Complicated Sentence

JSTOR Daily – Radical Theology: A Syllabus

JSTOR Daily – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: Annotated

The Millions – An Essay About Nothing

The Los Angeles Review of Books – When Perry Miller Invented America: On Abram C. Van Engen’s “City on a Hill”

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great 2023 Book Preview


Belt Magazine – Belt’s Top Stories of 2022

Psyche – If animals are persons, should they bear criminal responsibility?

Belt Magazine – Wild and Wonderful Folklore of West Virginia

The European Review of Books – Glossomania-mania

Belt Magazine – When Labor Solidarity is a Game

The Millions – A Year in Reading (2022): Ed Simon

The Montreal Review – What Wild Ecstasy

Nautilus – Is AI Art Really Art?

The Baffler – Who Still Needs the Carnivalesque?

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Doubting Thomas: On Peter Manseau’s “The Jefferson Bible”

Belt Magazine – The Knocking Spirits of Upstate New York

The Millions – Coffee, the Great Literary Stimulant 

JSTOR Daily – Mary Sidney and the Voice of God

The Millions – How Many Errorrs Are in This Essay?

Poetry Magazine – A Little World Made Cunningly

Lapham’s Quarterly – Speak of the Devil

The Los Angeles Review of Books – All Dogs Go to Heaven: David Bentley Hart’s Canine Panpsychism

Belt Magazine – Breezewood, Pennsylvania: The Most American Place on Earth

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2022 Book Preview

The Millions – Enlightenment, then Laundry

History News Network – Where Will America Be by 2030?

Religion and Politics – Separation of Church and State Has Always Been Good for Religion

Belt Magazine – Eating Local with the Pennsylvania Dutch

The Millions – On War and Literature

Belt Magazine – The Rise of Pennsylvania’s Everyday Left 

JSTOR Daily – All Male Cats Are Named Tom: Or, the Uneasy Symbiosis between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx

The Millions – Mephistopheles in the Anthropocene

JSTOR Daily – Here We Are Again! – How Joseph Grimaldi Invented the Creepy Clown

Nautilus – He Fast-Forwarded Evolution into the Future

The Los Angeles Review of Books – On Exorcizing Demons

The Millions – Fourteen First and Last Sentence Novels

Belt Magazine – City of Cod

Religion Dispatches – With Demons Held Responsible These Days for Everything from Covid to LGBTQ Rights, Take a Visual Tour of the History of Demonization

Failed State Update – It’s 2022, Do You Know Where Your Demons Are?

Belt Magazine – Ukrainian Pittsburgh in Five Acts

The Montreal Review – Deals with the Devil?

History News Network – The Would-Be Czar’s Dark Prophet

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

(Reprinted in the Milken Institute Review)

The Hedgehog Review – American Captivity: The Captivity Narrative as Creation Myth

Literary Hub – A History of Demonology is a History of the World

Hyperallergic – How Bosch Experienced his Own Type of Hell

The Millions – Daring to Eat the Peach: The Nature of Being Possessed

The Chicago Review of Books – Last Vestige of an Old Order in “The Nineties”

The Millions – The Lost Art of Not Knowing Something

Publishers Weekly – Racism, ‘Fortune,’ and America’s True History Laid Bare in New Book

The Millions – Read More Puritan Poetry

Belt Magazine – Pittsburgh’s Broken Bridge is a Warning Sign

The Millions – Tripping the Late Capitalist Sublime

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2022 Book Preview

Poetry – Milton, You Should Be Living At This Hour

The Millions – Letter from the Collapse

The Chicago Review of Books – More Than a Trillion Rounds in “The Next Civil War”


Belt Magazine – Blessed Nativity of Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh

Public Books – Tending Orwell’s Garden

Aeon – How to Pray to a Dead God

(Translated into Chinese)

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Through a Computer Screen Darkly: A Conversation with Meghan O’Gieblyn

The Millions – A Year in Reading (2021): Ed Simon

Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism – Pittsburgh Is Still a Contested Symbol

The Millions – Conquering Hell

The Millions – Drizzly November in My Soul

Publishers Weekly – New Benedict Bio Explores the Pope Emeritus’ Most Controversial Chapters

The Millions – And the Walls Came Down

review31 – In Praise of Curiosity

Lapham’s Quarterly – As Far from Heaven as Possible

Religion Dispatches – Pittsburgh Paradox: A City Haunted by God and Steel

The Millions – Nothing Outside the Text

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Literature Isn’t Practical (Part of “What is Literature For: A Symposium on Angus Fletcher’s ‘Wonderworks'”)

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Pulling the Chair Out

Killing the Buddha – Our Daily Bread and Roses – An Interview with Ben Wildflower

Belt Magazine – Pittsburgh’s Glorious Turkey Devonshire

The Millions – This isn’t the Essay’s Title

Belt Magazine – “Somebody Call Cleveland?”: On Pittsburgh, United 93, and twenty years of war

The Millions – Circles of the Damned

Chicago Review of Books – Blurred Lines in “God, Human, Animal, Machine”

Publishers Weekly – Unexpected Saints: A Conversation with Meg Hunter-Kilmer

The Millions – Who’s There?: Every Story is a Ghost Story

The Millions – The World Is All That Is the Case

JSTOR Daily – Return to Pirate Island

Payday Report – How the IRA Was Founded in Pittsburgh in 1866

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2021 Book Preview

Lapham’s Quarterly – Walking Shadows

History News Network – The Girders of Steel City’s History

The Millions – On Memory and Literature

Nieman Reports of Harvard University – Covering God in the 21st Century (Co-Written with Costica Bradatan)

Appearance at Whitehall, Pennsylvania Library

History News Network – Experiments with Reality: New Histories of the Magical

Littsburgh – 1938: Billy Strayhorn Meets Duke Ellington (From “An Alternative History of Pittsburgh”)

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Not to be Cynical, But…

The Millions – Elegy of the Walker

JSTOR Daily – The Heretical Origins of the Sonnet

The Millions – Henry Vaughan’s Eternal Alchemy

Belt Magazine – The Great Railroad Strike of Pittsburgh (Excerpted from “An Alternative History of Pittsburgh”)

LitHub – To Write a History of Pittsburgh is to Write a History of America

The Millions – Marvelous Mutable Marvell

The Millions – On Literature and Consciousness  

The Millions – Annotate This: On Footnotes

Aeon – Machine in the Ghost

History News Network – A Devil’s Dozen of the Most Important Religion News Stories of 2020

Belt Magazine – Why Pittsburgh Needs the Paris Agreement

The Millions – Ten Ways to Lose Your Literature

The Millions – Letter from the Capitol

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview


The Millions – On Dreams and Literature

Religion Dispatches – History Matters: On the 400th Anniversary of Plymouth We’re Still Clinging to Destructive National Myths

The Los Angeles Review of Books – The Puritans are Alright

The History News Network – Let America be America Again

The Millions – A Year in Reading: 2020

The Public Domain Review – Lord of Misrule: Thomas Morton’s American Subversions

The Revealer – Elegy for Tisquantum: The Mayflower at 400

Belt Magazine – The Keystone State is Ringing

The Fix – A Temporary Suicide

The Baffler – Trumpania, U.S.A.

The Millions – Who’s Afraid of Theory?

The History News Network – The Queen’s Two Bodies

The Millions – On Obscenity and Literature

Tribune – In Search of Thomas More’s Utopia

The Millions – Ten Ways to Save the World

The Millions – A Fraternity of Dreamers

The Millions – Stories in Formaldehyde: The Strange Pleasures of Taxonomizing Plot

The Millions – Letter from Wartime

Publishers Weekly – Going Viral: New Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020

Publishers Weekly – The Good Fight: New Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020

Publishers Weekly – In the Presence of History: PW Talks to P. Djeli Clark

Publishers Weekly – Reclaiming the Subversive: PW talks to Alix E. Harrow

Publishers Weekly – Nasty Women: New Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020

The Revealer – How Long is God’s Beard

The Millions – Humble Words Organized Beautifully: Ward Farnsworth on Style

Publishers Weekly – Bloomsbury banks on Benedict, the pope emeritus

The New York Times – We Need a Monument to the Unknown America

JSTOR Daily – In Defense of Kitsch

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2020 Book Preview

The Los Angeles Review of Books – What was Christendom?

Publisher’s Weekly – Churches Must Grapple with a Legacy of Racism

Review 31 – This is Not Sentimental Verse

Athenaeum Review – Cabeza de Vaca Invents the Road Novel

Past Ten – June 12th 2020

Rabbit Hole Magazine – Ed Simon on Wonder in the Time of Coronavirus

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Exorcizing Dark Gods with John Brown

Berfrois – Devotions Upon Social Isolation

History News Network – Mourning in America

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Burying Nobodaddy: What is “God” Even Supposed to Mean?

Berfrois – Close Reading Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row”

Nautilus – The Book that Invented the World

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Götterdämmerung of the American Gods

Berfrois – And There Was a War in Heaven: VE Day 75 Years Later

The Millions – On Isolation and Literature

JSTOR Daily – America, Lost and Found at Wounded Knee

Berfrois – The Hidden Lightbulb: Sketching Apophatic Literature

History News Network – “From Pandemic Then Grew Rebellion”: Considering the 1381 English Revolt of the English Peasantry

Berfrois – Close Reading Pati Smith’s “Because the Night”

The Millions – Letter from the Other Shore

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – 1984 was Lit: Ed Simon on Leonard Cohen

Berfrois – An Appointment with Father Grandier

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Faith in the Time of COVID

History News Network – The Cultural Constants of Contagion

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

The Millions – Letter from the Pestilence

The Millions – On Pandemics and Literature

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Thought on L.A. Traffic: SoCal Reverie

Berfrois – Close Reading Carl Sagan’s “Reflections on a More of Dust”

The Millions – Poetry is Prayer

Religion Dispatches – In a Time of Chaos and Misrule, Mardi Gras’ Subversive Message is Virtually Meaningless

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Leave Sack and Live Cleanly

Berfrois – Book Excerpt from “The Anthology of Babel”

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Condemned to Salvation: Considering Universalism with David Bentley Hart

Aeon – What Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy Can Offer in the Anthropocene

History News Network – Trump’s Acquittal and the History of the Intentionally Undemocratic Senate

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

The Millions – Steal this Meme: Beyond Truth and Lies

Religion Dispatches – Literary Critic George Steiner, Whose Views on Anti-Semitism Drew Controversy, Dies at 90

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

The Revealer – With Limits: Dusk Sets on the American Frontier

The Millions – Prayer is Poetry

Berfrois – Another Man’s System: The Science and Art of Engineering Deities

Religion Dispatches – MLK Monument That Never Was, Is a Reminder of the King Too Often Ignored

History News Network – Ross Douthat’s Prescription for Academia Won’t Solve the Real Problem

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

The Millions – Annotate This: On Marginalia

Poetry – The Bard of Capitalist Realism

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2020 Book Preview


Berfrois – 120 Months

The New York Times – Why We Will Need Walt Whitman in 2020

(Reprinted in the Salt Lake Tribune)

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Review of 2019

History News Network – Brexit and the End of the United Kingdom

Religion Dispatches – A Devil’s Dozen of the Best ‘New Religion Journalism’ Books of the Decade

Killing the Buddha – For Christ was Born in a Refugee Camp

The Millions – A Year in Reading: Ed Simon

Berfrois – Jesus Shat

Marginalia Review of Books – My Last Day as an Adjunct

Orbiter Magazine – Strangeness and Surprise

Poetry Magazine – Wheels of Fortune

JSTOR Daily – The Construction of America, in the Eyes of the English

History News Network – Bodhisattvas and Saints

Religion Dispatches – Thanksgiving Reveals More About Us Than About 17th Century Events

Berfrois – A Struggle in Edom

The Millions – Ten Ways to Live Forever

The Millions – The Greeks Aren’t Done with Us: Simon Critchley on Tragedy

History News Network – A History of Why Trump Abandoned the Kurds

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

Berfrois – An Aluminum Anniversary: 10 Years of Berfrois

Orbiter – Gods and Robots

The Millions – King, God, Smart-Ass Author: Reconsidering Metafiction

The Los Angeles Review of Books – The Atheist Illusion

History News Network – Trump and the Divine Right of Kings

Berfrois – The Influence of Anxiety: Still Nervous about Harold Bloom

Religion Dispatches – Struggling With the Legacy of Harold Bloom, Brilliant But Deeply-Flawed Critic (1930-2019)

The Baffler – Meat in the Machine

Berfrois – Breaking the Third Commandment: An Essay on All the Names of God

History News Network – What Abraham Lincoln Got Right about Addiction

The Order of the Good Death – Every Word of the Sepulcher: How the Seventeenth Century Teaches us to Die

The Millions – Judging God: Rereading Job for the First Time

The Millions – The Universe in a Sentence: On Aphorisms

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Dismal Shores of Acheson: Touring Hell with Penguin Classics

The Millions – The Lion and the Eagle: On Being Fluent in “American”

History News Network – Searching for El Dorado: The Colonial Fantasy of the Amazon

The Millions – From Father Divine to Jim Jones: On the Phenomenon of American Messiahs

Jacobin – Remembering the Diggers

(Reprinted in the Tribune)

The Washington Post – Why the legacy of American slavery endures after more than 400 years

The Fix – On Gratitude

History News Network – Democrats Must Offer Americans “Bread and Roses” to Counter National Conservatism

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

Review 31 – Letter from a Nation of Free Men

Berfrois – The Final Sentence

The New Republic – Marianne Williamson’s Spiritualism Has Deep, Liberal Roots

Religion Dispatches – Toni Morrison, Prophet of America’s Demons (1931-2019)

Nautilus – How to Collapse the Distinction Between Art and Biology

The Millions – Marks of Significance: On Punctuation’s Occult Power

Berfrois – Once We Went to the Moon

The Millions – Another Person’s Words: Poetry is Always the Speaker

The Millions – Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview

Berfrois – Flight from Arcadia: On Death and Not Dying

The Millions – Ten Ways to Change Your God

History News Network – What to the Refugee Child is the Fourth of July?

The Millions – Philosophizing the Grave: Learning to Die with Costica Bradatan

History News Network – The Vatican’s Latest Official Document Is An Insult to the LGBTQ Community and History

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

The Millions – Is There a Poet Laureate of the Anthropocene?

Berfrois – Once More unto the Breach: D-Day 75 Years Later

JSTOR Daily – William Blake, Radical Abolitionist

(Quoted by the Poetry Foundation)

The Revealer – Make Paradise Great Again; or, the Most Subtle of the Beasts

The Millions – Samuel Pepys Would Have Been Huge on the Internet

Aeon – How Erasmus Darwin’s Poetry Prophesied Evolutionary Theory

History News Network – What the Fugitive Slave Law Can Teach Us About Anti-Abortion Legislation

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

The Baffler – In the Hands of Angry Gods

(Translated into French for Books magazine)

Babel Magazine – Lives in Language: John Wilkins

Berfrois – Novel Prognostications

Berfrois – Interrogating the Interrogative

The Revealer – Charcoal in an Empty Room: On Mary Beard’s How We Look Now

The Millions – The Sound of Silence: Have We Forgotten How to be Quiet?

The Millions – Missives from Another World: Literature of Parallel Universes

History News Network – The Sorrow of Watching the Notre Dame Burn

(Reprinted in Raw Story)

Religion Dispatches – God Need Not be Real, but the Black Hole Photo Is

The Fix – Radical Sobriety: Getting (And Staying) Clean and Sober as a Subversive Activity

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Sticks, Stones and Other Things

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Whispers in the Bare Ruined Choir: Meghan O’Gieblyn’s Crisis of Faith

The Millions – Island time: On the Poetics of the Isle

Orbiter – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Artificial Intelligence

History News Network – Trump’s Executive Order Censors Free Speech on College Campuses

                  (Republished in Raw Story)

Berfrois – Interiority Combustion Engine

Berfrois: The Book – Moved the Universe: Notes Toward an Orphic Criticism

The Millions – Ten Ways to Look at the Color Black

History News Network – The English Diggers, the “Commons,” and the Green New Deal

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Better Read than Dead

The Los Angeles Review of Books – The Mexican Phoenix Rises: On “Sor Juana: Or, the Persistence of Pop”

The Millions – What is Italian America? It’s Complicated

Berfrois – Possess the Origin of all Poems

Tablet – Jewish Horror

The Millions – Alliteration’s Apt and Artful Aim

               (Featured at Vox)

Public Books – “Hopelessness Makes Possible a New Hope”

JSTOR Daily – When Was the First Handshake?

Berfrois – Fleeting Shadows of the Dead

HNN – A Tyrant’s Temper Tantrum

        (Reprinted in AlterNet)

            (Reprinted in Raw Story)

The Millions – Binding the Ghost: On the Physicality of Literature

Hong Kong Review of Books – HKRB Essays: The Recovering

The Millions – The Great First-Half 2019 Book Preview (Contributor)


The New York Times – In Praise of Wonder

The Millions – A Year in Reading

The Revealer – An Excerpt from “America and Other Fictions”

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Queen Mob’s Review of 2018

HNN – In Memory of the Man Who Was Identified with the “God is Dead” Movement

Berfrois – Stephen Foster: Between Pittsburgh and Purgatory

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Classic Rock’s Götterdämmerung

The Millions – God Among the Letters: An Essay in Abecedarian

The Millions – Veil of Shadows: On Jewish Trauma, Place, and American Anti-Semitism

The Washington Post – ‘First contact’: What a missionary’s death tells us about the perils of colonialism

HNN – What the Luddites Were Right About

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

Berfrois – A Gospel for the Left

Aeon – My Odious Handiwork: Frankenstein is about art, not science

((Translated into Italian for Alphabeta2)

Poetry Magazine – Among Tyrants

Berfrois – Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Tablet – Is Frankenstein’s Monster the Golem’s Son?

Selected Essays Volume V of the Public Domain Review – Defining the Demonic

The Millions – East of El Dorado: Raleigh’s Poetic Explorations

HNN – And Now – Pittsburgh

The Public Domain Review – Divining the Witch of York: Propaganda and Prophecy

JSTOR Daily – Why are U.S. Borders Straight Lines?

The Millions – Eleven Ways of Looking at a Sunset

Berfrois – American Carnage in Penn’s Woods: A Historical Parable

The Revealer – Ethics of the Graveyard: Terry Eagleton on Death

McSweeney’s – One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism: Praying for the Awful Grace of God

Raw Story – How the nightmarish logic of scarcity capitalism will end up killing us all

Reprinted in Alternet

HNN – Capitalism’s Final Solution Is Nothing Less than Complete Ecological Collapse

HNN – People Love “What if” Moments. Are we Livnig Through One Now?

The Millions – God in the Trash Fire: Thomas Traherne Endures

Berfrois – The Transitory Immediate: Last Five Observations about the Moment

HNN – Woodward’s Trump Book Gives Us an Opportunity We Shouldn’t Miss

The Millions – Thinking Makes It So

The Fix – Academics and Alcoholism

HNN – What the People Who “Want Their Country Back” Forget

Berfrois – The Transitory Immediate: First Five Observations about the Moment

Religion Dispatches at Rewire.News: – In a Time of Irrational Fear and New Media: The Deadly “Dance Plague” at 500

AlterNet – Does the Arc of the Moral Universe Really Bend Toward Justice?

HNN – Does the Arc of the Universe Bend Toward Justice

The Millions – Francis Spufford Vividly Recreates a 17th-Century New York in ‘Golden Hill’

Berfrois – Such Grand Trebling: Reading the Number Three as Literature

The Los Angeles Review of Books – Groping Towards Each Other in a Common Mist

The Rumpus – Any Day Now: A Conversation with Anjali Sachdeva

Rewire.News: Religion Dispatches – What We Saw in the Eyes of Koko the Talking Gorilla (1971-2018)

HNN – Critics of Trump’s Immigration Policy Can Cite the Bible, too

Berfrois – The Massacre of the Innocents: Trump and America’s Evil

Raw Story – Here is how Trump used claims of ‘fake news’ to create his dangerous cult of fanatics

HNN – The Trump Cult

Raw Story – The language emanating from Trump’s lawyers sounds more appropriate to 17th Century France

HNN – Donald Trump: L’Etat, C’est Moi!

Berfrois – Philip Roth Interrogates God

Raw Story – The morass of Trump’s idiocy has become the new normal — but don’t let it distract you from his true goals

HNN – Which Side Are You on?

Marginalia Review of Books – Neo-Donatists in Eden

The Revealer – Strange Characters; or, The Antecolumbian Imaginary

JSTOR Daily – Why the French Revolution’s “Rational” Calendar Wasn’t

HNN – What Was so Remarkable About that Royal Wedding Sermon

Berfrois – Anthony in the Desert, and Other Mirages

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – The Fine Art of Missing the Point

Newsweek – We Need More Comics Like Michelle Wolf in the Trump Era

HNN – At a Time Like This We Need more Truth Tellers Like Michelle Wolf

                  (Reprinted in Raw Story)

Appearance on The Chauncey DeVega Show

Red State Blues (Belt Magazine anthology) – American Carnage in Penn’s Woods: A Historical Parable

HNN – Sorry Fukuyama, But History has Returned and it’s Nasty

                (Featured at Brewminate)

JSTOR Daily – The Restoration’s Filthiest Poet (And Why We Need Him)

Berfrois – Poetry before the Fall; or, the Pathetic Fallacy in Paradise

Aeon – ‘Cycle and Epicycle, Orb in Orb’: the science of Paradise Lost

                  (Reprinted in Brewminate)

                (Featured at Weekly Standard)

                (Translated into Spanish at Sin Permiso)

Religion Dispatches – Our Last “Genius” Stephen Hawking is Gone… Cause for Worry or Inspiration?

(featured in The Revealer)

Review31 – Winter’s Immutable Poetics

Berfrois – Punic Encomium

Newsweek en Espanol – ¿Puedes imaginarte qué se sentiría ser Donald Trump?

Newsweek – Can you imagine what it must be like to be Trump?

Raw Story – Trump’s fast-food engorged world is petty, small, miserable, anxious and angry

(Reprinted in AlterNet)

History News Network – Can You Imagine What It Must Be Like to Be Donald Trump?

Berfrois – When Books Read You, a Defense of Bibliomancy

(translated into Latvian for Riga Laiks)

The Millions – A 350th-Anniversary ‘Paradise Lost’ Reading List

Berfrois – A Bulwark Never Failing

Raw Story – There’s a comeuppance ahead for Christians who have traded faith for power

                      Reprinted in AlterNet


The Paris Review – John Milton’s Strange Christmas Poem

Newsweek – How Can True Evangelical Christians glorify the Godless Trump?

History News Network – For Those Who Have Traded Faith for Power, There’s a Comeuppance Ahead

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Queen Mob’s Review of 2017

Berfrois – Final Twelve Observations about Goodness

Tablet Magazine – “Rabbi” John Selden and the Restoration of the Jews to England

History News Network – The Missing Piece in the Democrats’ Plan to Victory

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Fecal Fridays: Martin Luther on the Toilet

Included in The Revealer

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Here I Stand; I Can Do No Other

Avidly – This Begins with an Epigraph

Berfrois – An Almost Chosen People: Resurrecting American Civil Religion

Pop Culture and Theology – Why Hollywood Should Take a Chance on Martin Luther

The Washington Post – We’re All Protestants Now

HNN – The One Thing that Two Big Anniversaries This Month Have in Common

The Public Domain Review – Defining the Demonic

              (featured at Breminate)

The Paris Review – The Renaissance Precursor of Rap Battles and Flow

The Revealer – Seems Like Straw to Me: On Gary Gutting’s “Talking God”

Commonweal Magazine – Reformation 2.0

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Vlad Interviews Ed Simon

Berfrois – Second Twelve Observations About Goodness

Aeon – How “white people” were invented by a playwright in 1613

            republished in Quartz

              featured at Vox

             republished in The Week

             featured at Arts & Letters Daily

Berfrois – First Twelve Observations about Goodness

The Millions – The Poetry of Subversion: On “Shakespeare in Swahililand”

Killing the Buddha – Transit of Shadow: On Eclipses

Newsweek – When Will Trump Use the Phrase ‘Radical White Supremacist Terrorism?’

HNN – There Shouldn’t Be any Statues Honoring Robert E. Lee Anywhere

Nautilus – The Case for Treating Gatsby as a Real Person

Raw Story – Once again, Donald Trump caters to the white racists who helped elect him

HNN – No, Mr. President. This Is Not an Issue with “Many Sides”

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Fire, Fury, and all the Varieties of American Nihilism

Newsweek – Why did Trump Aide Stephen Miller deride the noble words chiselled at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

Belt Magazine – George Romero, Pittsburgh Auteur

Marginalia – Debts Owed to Death

HNN – What Stephen Miller Got Wrong about Emma Lazarus

Berfrois – You Don’t Have to Go Home, but You Can’t Stay Here

Berfrois – Poetry Without Poets; or, Spirit is a Human Earth

Nautilus – “One Question”

LitHub – 9 Murderous Tyrants Who Were Also Failed Writers (And One OK Poet)

Newsweek – Killing Free Speech. Et Tu Delta? Et Tu Bank of America?

History News Network – The Shameful Attack on the New York Public Theater Production of “Julius Caesar”

Belt Magazine – Trump Isn’t Pittsburgh’s President

Berfrois – All These Weirdos: For Dennis Johnson

Killing the Buddha – Speaking in Tongues of Fire

                  (featured in The Revealer)

Berfrois – Maps are Stories; Stories are Maps

Berfrois – American Jezebels

Nautilus – God Created Consciousness in Fiction

Marginalia – The Crucified God: A Death in Pictures

(featured at The Revealer)

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – The Rest is the Most Tremendous Silence

Berfrois – “The Very Globe Came Undone”

The Atlantic – What’s so “American” about John Milton’s Lucifer?

                        (featured in the Revealer)

Marginalia Review of Books – Why Sin is Good

                      (Featured in The Revealer)

History News Network – Those Who Deny Succor to the Immigrant in the Name of “The West” Are Themselves Profoundly Anti-Western

Berfrois – The Brooklyn Project

Religion Dispatches – Forget Romance, It’s Time for Radical Love

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Jeremiad Against This Executive Order

Berfrois – Darkness Made Visible: Eamonn Peters on “Imagined Literature”

Nautilus – Why Pascal’s Wager is Eminently Modern

(Featured in 3QuarksDaily)

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – The Rival Poet’s Lover

(Featured in The Paris Review)

Religion Dispatches – With the Death of One of the Last Three Shakers, An American Religious Tradition Takes a Step Closer to Extinction

Inside Higher Ed – Crossing the Gulf of the Two Cultures

History News Network – Donald Trump is the First President who Doesn’t Believe in American Exceptionalism


Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Review of 2016 (Contributor)

The Paris Review – One Devil Too Many

Berfrois – The Grand Apprentice

The Revealer – The American Apocalyptic Sublime and the Twilight of Empire

Tablet Magazine – Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims’ American Jewish Holiday

The Atlantic – The Science Fiction That Came Before Science

Berfrois – The Scandal of Fiction

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – An Affirming Flame

The Atlantic – Why Bigfoot Sightings Are So Common Across Cultures

Aeon – Why Sasquatch and other crypto- beasts haunt our imaginations

Berfrois – I Dreamed I Saw Bob Dylan: On an American Prophet

Literary Hub – 11 Legendary Literary Hoaxes

Killing the Buddha – Remember that the Devil is Quite a Gentleman

                                 (featured at The Revealer)

The Millions – The Other Folio: On the Legacy of Ben Jonson

                               (featured at The Paris Review)

                                 (featured at Arts and Letters Daily)

The Revealer – The Savior’s Friends: On Tom Bissell’s Apostle

Berfrois – New Jerusalem in the Alleghenies; or, the Madman of Bradford County

Atlas Obscura – The Mystical Early Pennsylvania Settler Who Lived in a Cave

Belt Magazine – A Jagoff by Any Other Name

Marginalia at the Los Angeles Review of Books – Utmost Malice of Their Stars

History News Network – It’s Been 350 Years Since a Jewish Self-Proclaimed Messiah Converted to Islam

                                (featured at Brewminate)

Berfrois – A New Curating

Berfrois – Chair’d in the Adament of Time: On “America” and Other Fictions

History News Network – Obama’s Rebuke to the GOP

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – The Decline and Fall of the American Empire?

Killing the Buddha – The Page to Damascus

                              (featured at Real Clear Religion)

Berfrois – London Gave Him Debate

History News Network – Trump Exists Outside the Traditional Left-Right

Literary Hub – 10 Classics of Campaign Literature

The Millions – Songs of Ourselves: Searching for America’s Epic Poem

                             (featured at Grub Street)

                              (Originally cut material on Bob Dylan added after his Nobel Prize win)

Jewish Renaissance – Interviewed about the Early Modern poet Amelia Lanyer by Rebecca Taylor

History News Network – The Comparison of Brexit and the Reformation is Misleading, and Yet…

Berfrois – “Wheresoever they come they be at home:’ Utopia at 500

Marginalia at the Los Angeles Review of Books – Apocalypse is the Mother of Beauty

                       (featured in The Paris Review)

                        (featured at The Revealer)

History News Network – How a Historian Inspired a Miniseries with a Dark Message That’s Especially Relevant in the Age of Trump

The Millions – Hell with the Lid Taken Off: A Pittsburgh Reading List

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – The Books He Will Not Write: On Umberto Eco

The Millions – The Poetry of Small Things

                       (featured at 3 Quarks Daily)

ExCommunicated – Featured Heretic: Hypatia

History News Network – A Magazine for the Complicated American

Marginalia at the Los Angeles Review of Books – The Death of God, Again

                         (featured at The Revealer)

Berfrois – Recall, Orpheus: Upon the End of National Poetry Month

                            (featured in the Berfrois Newsletter)

Religion Dispatches – Mayday’s Demise and the Rise of our Gloomy Empire

                            (featured at The Revealer)

Literary Hub – What was Shakespeare’s Central Philosophy?

Literary Hub – Beyond Shakespeare: A Reading List

History News Network – Who Would Jesus Vote For?

                         (featured in Raw Story)

Tablet Magazine – Amelia Lanyer, the First First Female Jewish English Poet and Shakespeare’s Dark Lady?

Jacobin – Five Hundred Years of Utopia

                        (featured at The Revealer)

                        (quoted at The New Yorker)

The Fortnightly Review – The Rival Poet in Love

Berfrois – Daddy, What Did you Do in the Culture Wars?

History News Network – Who Really Discovered America?

History News Network – This is How Deep Racism Runs in Our Country

Queen Mob’s Teahouse – Of Canons and Marginal Poets

                           (featured at The Poetry Foundation)

                          (featured in The Paris Review)

History News Network – Another Reason for Progressive Catholics to Cheer Francis

Sacred Matters – The Wisdom of Umberto Eco

The Revealer – The Remembrance of Amalek

                    (featured in The Paris Review)

Raw Story – Trump’s Rise Shows Conservatives are Willing to destroy the America our founders envisioned

History News Network – Trumpism is a Sign that Faith in the American Civil Religion May be Collapsing

History News Network – The 18th Century Frenchman Who Understood America Better than Trump Does

                             (featured in Raw Story)

The Public Domain Review – Robert Greene, the First Bohemian

                            (featured at The Paris Review)

                            (featured at Berfrois)

                            (featured at The Rumpus)

                            (featured at Brewminate)

                            (featured in The Selected Essays: Volume IV)

The Revealer – The Great God Pan Still Lives

Religion Dispatches – David Bowie’s “Heroes,” the Soundtrack of a Spiritual Libertine

The Dublin Review of Books – England Unfree


Religion Dispatches – Despising the Holidays: When Christians Led the “War on Christmas”

Tikkun Daily – “California” Has Always Been Islamic

Religion Dispatches – How Would Religion Respond to Extraterrestrials? A Thought Experiment

Tikkun Daily – Something is Happening Here

Religion Dispatches – America, the Mythical: “Mother of Exiles” or Denier of Safe Haven?

Religion Dispatches – “Religion, O Diabolic” Lamenting Religious Violence, Then and Now

Religion Dispatches – Why We Should Keep the Devil in Halloween

Salon – Let there be light: Handwritten Draft of King James Bible reveals secrets of its creation

                   (featured in The Revealer)

                  (Salon article originally appeared in Religion Dispatches)

Polaris – Exile in that Infinity: Giordano Bruno

ExCommunicated – Featured Heretic: Giordano Bruno

Tikkun Daily – Stephen Colbert is America’s Holy Fool

                   (featured in The Revealer)

Belt Magazine – The Sacred and the Profane in Pittsburgh

                        (featured at the Journal of the History of Ideas)

Polaris – The Destroyer of World’s in His Newfoundland

                        (featured in The Revealer)

Tikkun Daily – God and Man in Toronto

Tikkun Daily – Humanism Unshackled

                       (featured in The Revealer)

Religion Dispatches – Will this Relic Change our Wholve View of Early American History?

Religion Dispatches – Who are the Waldensians and Why Did the Pope Ask for Their Forgiveness?

Killing the Buddha – Scripture for a Dead God

Tikkun Daily – Voicing the Ineffable in Charleston

‘Merica Magazine – The Non-Apotheosis of Tom Paine

ExCommunicated – Charlie’s Heterodoxy

ExCommunicated – Featured Heretic: Tom Paine

Religion Dispatches – Predicting the Future of Religion: A Thought Experiment

                      (featured in The Revealer)

                       (featured at The Anxious Bench)

The Revealer – Preachers from the Palace of Wisdom, or: Ranterism in the UK

Religion Dispatches – Jesus Went to Hell, But Nobody Wants to Talk About It

Religion Dispatches – Greatest Hits of 2015: Religion Stories Our Readers Couldn’t Resist

Salon – Jesus Went to Hell

                          (reprinted at AlterNet)

Quartz – Calling for an Islamic reformation ignores the bloody realities of Christian history

Religion Dispatches – ISIS is the Islamic Reformation

                         (featured at The Revealer)

Polaris – Notes on John Dee’s Aztec Mirror

The Revealer – The New Liturgy


The Public Domain Review – Ghostwriter and Ghost: The Strange Case of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth

                               (included in The Public Domain Review: Selected Essays, Volume II)

                               (reprinted in Mental Floss)

ExCommunicated – Featured Heretic: Simon Magus

Drown Unbound – Dispatch from Chicago: Applying for NEH Seminars

Impressions of the ISHS 2014 Conference

Drown Unbound – A Few Humble Observations about Conference Abstracts Part II

Drown Unbound – A Few Humble Observations about Conference Abstracts Part I


The New Yinzer – Salvatore Pane’s “Last Call in the City of Bridges”

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies


The Revealer Unfit for Heaven and Earth