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Brook Wilensky-Lanford
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Brook Wilensky-Lanford is the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden, a New York Times Editors' Choice just out in paperback. She lives in the Garden State, and is an editor of the online religion magazine Killing the Buddha. Follow her on Twitter @modmyth!

Entries by Brook Wilensky-Lanford

Ninety Years of Spiritual Merchandising

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 12:58 PM

If you've heard of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, a small white poetry book with a drawing of a man staring intensely out from the cover, you probably associate it with the 1960s. That's when the so-called counterculture Bible began to be read at weddings ("Love one another, but make...

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The News Cycle of Jesus' Wife

(34) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 12:00 PM

I don't know if Jesus had a wife. I don't know if the early Christians who wrote the Coptic papyrus fragment recently publicized by Harvard Divinity School scholar Karen King thought he had a wife. And even if he did, I don't know if or what that would...

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Searching for the Forbidden Fruit of the Garden of Eden

(345) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 4:40 PM

It's that time of year again: apple season. Here in the Big Apple, farmer's markets are filled with them. The crisp color fruit augurs fall, holiday meals, American pies and the Garden of Eden. It's one of the most persistent elements of the story: Adam, Eve, apple, snake. At least,...

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Going 'Inside Scientology'

(162) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 11:33 AM

When most of us think of Scientology, we think of Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Not Janet Reitman, a Rolling Stone journalist who wrote a National Magazine Award-nominated investigation of the Church of Scientology in 2006.

She's spent the last six years digging into this unusual faith, and her...

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I've Been to the Mormon Garden of Eden, and It's Not What You Think

(248) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 11:00 PM

Whenever the Mormon faith pops up in the media, it is usually introduced with a handful of doctrines that seem rigged for laugh lines: Joseph Smith spoke to an angel; Jesus visited America; and the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Mo. Now, these and other too-strange-to-be-true beliefs have...

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