Get local news delivered straight to your phone

21

WEDNESDAY

We can't make City Paper without you

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

As Lin Chi famously said: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” When Buddha sits around the house, he really sits around the house, and his ass can sure block your path. But taking him down ain’t easy: In trying to get past all the rules and airbrushed images, we can end up blind to the awesome power of the divine (says the believer) or the dangerous power of belief (says the enlightened skeptic). Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet set out to find Americans and their idols, and, using the Bible—“the book waiting for a sweaty-palmed rendezvous in every motel room”—as a blueprint, compiled Killing the Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible. Reimaginings of scripture from such writers as Rick Moody (Job) and Haven Kimmel (Revelation) combine with Manseau and Sharlet’s altar-front reportage to create a Word that is of God—if it turns out God is really just a slob like one of us. Manseau and Sharlet speak at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (Pamela Murray Winters)