Friday, February 04, 2005

This... one reason that America's intellectual elites will never really understand the religious red stater majority--they think we are bloodthirsty freaks.

KILLING THE BUDDHA: A Heretic's Bible Edited by Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet
The Free Press, $25 (304p) ISBN 0-7432-3276-3

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
”The set-up goes like this: take two religiously flippant intellectuals (in this case, Manseau and Sharlet, the founding editors of the spiritually hip online magazine Killing the Buddha) and send them on a yearlong road trip to discover the underbelly of America's religious culture. Make sure they mingle with the most wild and weird of holy rollers-a philosophical stripper working out of a converted Baptist church in Nashville, a one-eyed rodeo preacher from the "Cowboy Church" of Texas, a clan of bloodthirsty Jesus freaks in Florida and a cross-dressing terrorist (who happens to be "Christian"--Suburban Cowboy) from North Carolina
badly in need of an exorcism. Take all these "true" stories, turn them into the "Bible's Book of Psalms," and alternate them with 13 freshly imagined "books" of the Bible, written by iconic American writers such as…Rick Moody (who) recasts Jonah as a modern-day gay Jewish man living in Queens…(and) A.L. Kennedy (who) meditates on the absurdity of GenesisProphets in G-strings dancing to pay the rent, storm chasers hunting for meaning in devastating tornados, gangbangers inking God on their bodies as protection from bullets, cross-dressing terrorist angels looking for a place to sing.”

Killing the Buddha -- Recommended and Shortlisted: The Boston Globe, Village Voice, Chicago Reader, Washington, D.C. City Paper, Austin Chronicle, Boulder Daily Camera, Philadelphia Independent, Willamette Week (Portland, OR), Portland Mercury, Albuquerque Alibi, Charlottesville (VA) Hook

"Marvelous." – Booklist; "Revelatory." -- Village Voice; "Unholy rollers and... religious practices you don't learn about in Bible school." -- Boston Globe; "If Killing the Buddha holds blasphemy, it is... engaging stuff." - Ottowa Citizen; New York Newsday: "Daring and delightful... Heretics and skeptics, as well as true-blue believers, will find Killing the Buddha refreshing, inspiring and downright invigorating." - Lauren Winner, "A Church of One's Own"; New York Observer: "A genuine stab at a saucy kind of spirituality that's as bold as it is refreshing." - Daniel Asa Rose, "An Orgy of Skeptical Ecstasy"; Denver Post: "A heartfelt meditation on and exploration of contemporary religious practice in the United States".


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