The Holy of Holies: 
On the Constituents of Emptiness 

Mitchell Stephens     Professor of Journalism     New York University

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Jay says:

“Death is an empty room” is a powerful metaphor, yet an empty room is something,–death holds nothing and is nothing.

mitch says:

This is a line — reasserting the opposition between an anacreontic perspective and this “untenanted” space at the center of religion — with which I’ve had a lot of difficulty.

mcvicker says:

Hm. “Untenanted” isn’t really equivalent to “Death is an empty room”; putting it this way hollows out the deft, rich ideas of previous sections, at least for me. It takes all the fascinating, compelling and especially *temporal* ambiguity of the idea of ‘tenancy’ and reduces it to a slogan (or observation worthy of Pompey or an anthropologist, of that moment from the perspective of an intruder, an uninitiate who can only ‘see’ what his frame of vision ‘allows’ him to see). I’d try to do more highlighting of that phrase at the end of this graph: ‘inside there was, *by all appearances*, no life’…

Noah SD says:

This isn’t an argument against belief, but an argument that not believing ain’t so bad–I guess an expression of hope that God doesn’t exist.