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Well hello everyone! AEWCH 14 is me and Peter Rollins -- author, philosopher and radical theologian -- talking about religion without God, about desire and psychoanalysis, about the way pleasure and pain are intertwined.  I have to say, this is my favorite episode so far! 

A few years back I was a fan of Peter's and I hit him up. We followed each other on twitter for a bit, then hung out, and then a year later we were living together. If you like our conversation, please consider supporting Peter's Patreon as well:


  • How to have religion without God: 1:20
  • Why do we hide under the covers to protect ourselves?: 5:50
  • The way we enjoy our fears and oppressions: 8:00
  • The only true analysis in the second before you die 9:05
  • It’s difficult to know what you don’t believe, but the unexamined life is not worth living: 10:10
  • Young Conner vs Dracula: 11:35
  • “One of life’s great pleasures is having enemies…the trick is picking the right one”: 14:28 
  • Love Trump’s hate: 14:45
  • We have not seen the enemy and it is us: 17:10
  • What if this is the world we want? How would we make it better?: 18:35
  • Whether you like Freud or not, here’s his point that we should all be grateful for: 21:45
  • Why gamblers don’t want to win: 24:35
  • The value of being a utopianist: 26:10
  • Conner’s brushes with atheism, and how Simone Weil saved him: 38:15
  • CS Lewis meets an obscure Italian occultist in the light: 52:05
  • How to act when you’re a mystery to yourself: 55:50
  • “Monogamy is the most widespread perversion”: 1:00:20
  • The value of grace and forgiveness: 1:10:00
  • Why are people suspicious of pleasure: 1:23:40


Peter’s has quite a few books out. My favorite is his book of Christian koans, The Orthodox Heretic, and you might also like one of his most popular works, The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith. 

If you’d like to learn more about psychoanalysis and Jacques Lacan, who has been a major influence on Peter (not to mention me), you can read my incomplete but easy-to-read essay on him here.

Adam Phillips, psychoanalyst and author and dream guest for my show (I'm gonna make it happen one day!) wrote this great book called Darwin’s Worms. I bring up often, so just read it, already.

The book that Peter and I bonded over is Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis by Todd McGowan. It’s great,

Simone Weil wrote about affliction in an essay which appears in he book Waiting for God.

My essay on Charles Fourier and his powerful, enlivening, and hilarious vision of utopia is here.

CS Lewis’s story “Light” is in this book which does, indeed, have a terrible cover. And Italian occultist Massimo Scaligero’s book The Light is here. It’s a pretty intense book.

The Oscar Wilde quote I mention is: "I think that the realization of oneself is the prime aim of life, and to realize oneself through pleasure is finer than to do so through pain.”

Peter and I talked on his facebook live channel once, speaking mostly about marginalized people and ideas. Here's a link to the recording.

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