Religion, political theory, history, new age, education and art

A review of The Atheist Manifesto: the case against Christianity, Judaism and Islam by Michael Onfray. Gullibility fuels faith: A review of Against All Gods by AC Grayling. A marxist preaches the gospel of love: Kenan Malik reviews The Meaning of Life by Terry Eagleton.

A review of The Enlightenment & the Book by Richard B Sher. A review of Russell Jacoby's Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age. A review of Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations. A review of The Pursuit of Glory: Europe, 1648-1815 by Tim Blanning.

From Japan Focus, history wars: Revisionist academics and best selling authors fuel a revival of nationalism that is poisoning Japan’s relations with neighboring nations. The power of No: In The Power of a Positive No, William Ury argues that the secret to a better nation is to learn the creative power of rejection. From Jewcy, an article on The Enlightenment Industry: Failing to find inner peace in India. The thorny path to enlightenment: Buddhists bringing ancient faith to US at odds over role of martial arts in Shaolin, former allies deeply divided on physical, spiritual aspects of the misunderstood culture. The Power of Wishful Thinking: Can you fantasize your way to a book contract, a perfect husband, and a 26-inch waist? A New Mythology: An article on ancient astronauts, lost civilizations and the New Age paradigm. A review of A Brief History of Ancient Astrology (Brief Histories of the Ancient World).

From Inside Higher Ed, balancing fundamental tensions: Daniel H. Weiss considers some of the key questions facing liberal arts colleges — and all of higher education. Immigrants among blacks at colleges raises diversity questions. How'd you do in school today? With Edline Online, the report card goes 24/7 and every test is an open book.

From Spiked, American editor and author of a book on McCarthyism Sam Tanenhaus proves to be a prickly interviewee.

From Sign and Sight, a writer in the cold war: Richard Wagner pleads for a fresh look at the novels of right-wing Romanian writer Vintila Horia, who died in 1992 in literary disgrace. In the territory: A review of Ralph Ellison. Why we love a real-life story: A review of Biography: A Brief History by Nigel Hamilton. All signs that we live in the golden age of the newspaper obituary: The maharajah who permitted garlic, the bouncing diva and the teenage groupie who kissed John Gielgud's knob.

US poet laureate Donald Hall's desire to help others understand poetry motivates him to speak around the country.

From Asia Times, Spengler on why you pretend to like modern art. Michael Dirda on the man who did more for the arts in America than anyone else. Picture and a thousand words: In our rush to raze Modernist structures, we're condemning more than just bricks and mortar to the dust heap. One museum's solution to the problem of crowds: Ever seen the Mona Lisa? Now for the graphic details. The curtain is about to come down on theatres that misquote reviewers on billboards or in other advertising, thanks to an EU directive which will outlaw misleading publicity. And Revenge of the Dark Knight: Hard-edged comics guru Frank Miller is hot in Hollywood