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Peter Rollins
Peter Rollins is a provocative writer, lecturer, storyteller and public speaker who has gained an international reputation for overturning traditional notions of religion and forming “churches” that preach the Good News that we can’t be satisfied, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret.

Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief Peter shows that an incendiary and irreligious reading of Christianity is possible: one that destroys the distinction between sacred and secular, blurs the lines between theism and atheism and sets aside questions regarding life after death to explore the possibility of a life before death.
This approach has been christened “pyrotheology,” and aims at burning up the basic assumptions that both critics and advocates of religion hold concerning the life of faith.

Peter gained his higher education from Queens University, Belfast and has earned degrees (with distinction) in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD). He is the author of numerous books, including Insurrection: To Believe is Human; to Doubt, Divine and The Idolatry of God: Breaking our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently lives in New York and will die somewhere as yet not known.

For more information click here for Peter’s Wikipedia page

Entries by Peter Rollins

The King and His Jester: Religion and Its Acceptable Transgressions

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 11:04 PM


Religion, in its various forms, offers up a constellation of acceptable beliefs and practices that tell us how to think and behave. A denomination, for instance, will offer us a set of dogmas, doctrines and rituals that, to a greater or lesser extent,...

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Facing What We Dare Not Speak: Communities of Exorcism

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 10:01 PM


There's an old Russian joke from the days when goods were scarce. It tells of a man who finally gets to the front of a line and says, "I guess you don't have any beef?" To which the shopkeeper responds, "I'm sorry sir,...

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North Korea, Hillsong and the Denial of Denial

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 2:09 AM


North Korea never fails to offer up interesting and telling examples of how ideology functions. One such example can be found in their claim that homosexuality doesn't actually exist there.

What this strange denial presents to us is the way that ideological systems...

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We Are the Naked Emperor: On Not Wanting to Know What We Know

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 11:02 AM

One of Hans Christian Anderson's most famous short stories is "The Emperors New Clothes." It concerns a vain Emperor who loves nothing more than wearing the finest of clothes. So he hires a couple of charlatans who convince him that they can make the most beautiful outfit made from an...

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We Sleep in Separate Rooms

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 8:45 AM

I recently talked to a friend who told me that she was visiting her conservative religious family for a birthday and brought her partner for the weekend. Over the few days they slept in separate rooms.
The question that immediately came to mind was 'why?' Who was it that...

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You Are Responsible for Nothing

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 3:37 PM

The famous philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote that we are "condemned to freedom." For Sartre this meant that we are responsible beings. However, we are not merely responsible for the decisions we make. In addition to this, he drew out how we are also responsible for the decisions we postpone...

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On Demons and Virtual Reality

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 3:44 PM

Within religious circles the word "demonic" is generally used to describe something either actual or fictional. In the conservative/fundamentalist world demons are real beings who travel around the world creating mischief. On the other side people from the progressive/liberal tradition tend to think of demons and the demonic as terms...

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Learning to Admit Our Brokenness

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 4:11 PM

I remember being in a nightclub with a good friend of mine in Belfast. It was late and the place was filled with music, laughter and dance. But in the midst of the entertainment I could see something else going on behind the manifest aesthetic pleasure. Despite all the seeming...

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Holy Crap: The Sacred Call of the Excluded

(1) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 1:29 PM


In classificatory systems, the proletariat is not, strictly speaking, a class at all. Amid the multitude of different classes (both actual and possible) the proletariat marks those who are excluded from the class system as such. Hence Marx was not particularly interested in class...

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You May Not Believe in Ghosts, But Are You Scared of Them?

(84) Comments | Posted March 23, 2013 | 3:52 PM


The great Illusionist Derren Brown recently asked a group of people to bring the picture of a loved one to a gathering (a cheap copy rather than some original). When people arrived at the venue with their pictures he held up a...

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A Church of Non-Christians

(31) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 11:31 AM


One of the signs of a world-historical movement is that it spills over from its particular interests and unites previously separate groups. In other words, an influential movement speaks beyond the confines of its origin, crosses tribal boundaries and touches people who might otherwise...

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Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchens: The New Theists?

(363) Comments | Posted March 10, 2013 | 6:31 PM

Today the word "sacred" is employed to name a certain realm of life that can be contrasted with the secular. The idea here is that some object, area of life or geographical location can act as a "thin place," i.e. a site where the transcendent shines through.

This approach...

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The Problem With Unbelief Is That It Allows Us To Believe Too Much

(197) Comments | Posted February 23, 2013 | 7:24 PM

The common reason why people think unbelief is problematic is because it stands in opposition to belief, that unbelief is a stance that prevents us from believing. However the problem with unbelief lies precisely in the opposing position: namely, unbelief is required in order to support and sustain belief. In...

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