Derek Beres's Contributions
  • Rape, Racism and Bikram Choudhury

    I first practiced Bikram Yoga over a decade ago in SoHo. The heat punched through me like a lead fist. Although a few years experienced in Vinyasa, the thick atmosphere combined with long postural holds was...

  • Jay Z and the Bygone Era of Activism

    “The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name,” wrote historian Daniel J. Boorstin in his 1962 book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America. The future Librarian of Congress essentially pre-defined...

  • Must We Believe in 'Something?'

    In their book Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking, Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander remind us that the way we view the world is necessarily limited by the constraints of our...

  • Joseph Campbell and the Continual Relevance of Mythology

    One of the reasons Joseph Campbell’s work in comparative mythology continues to resonate—some, myself included, would argue grow—is due to his ability to synthesize religious and spiritual traditions from around...

  • A Biblical Tale of Abortion?

    “Sure, today's Olympics are corrupt, rife with cheating, and riddled with scandal, but at least today's games aspire to the noble ideals of the ancient Greeks—amateurism, fair play, and peace,” writes J....

  • The Seduction of Spiritual Celebrity

    In traditional Sufism, a seeker would find a teacher and study under him for a number of years in a particular order, or turuq. During that time the seeker would have to listen to and diligently follow everything...

  • Religion Beyond the Supreme Court

    This week’s Supreme Court decisions have been the main topics streaming into my Facebook and Twitter feeds (along with a few heartfelt thoughts for Nelson Mandela). Escaping a thumbs up or down on the ruling of...

  • Religious Undertones in Man of Steel

    Superman may have originally been envisioned as a telepathic bald villain bent on world destruction, but he was quickly transformed into a beloved hero of Depression-era America, with his all-American, Christian...

  • Whose Self Does Self-Help Help?

    The self-help movement has come quite a way since Samuel Smiles (actual name) published Self-Help in 1859. Considering the opening sentence invokes God and the help He offers, the tone for a metaphysical entity...

  • The End of the Guru

    In the last month, two people that I’ve critiqued in this column have replied and created fruitful dialogues. J. Brown, a teacher whom I respect for his intellectual fortitude, just sent me this new blog post; I...