ReligionWatch Archives

For ReligionWatch archives prior to February 2016, CLICK HERE or please contact Richard Cimino at relwatch1@msn.com

Liberalism and religious pluralism contested among conservative religious thinkers

The value of liberalism and religious pluralism in American society is coming under sharp debate in conservative religious and political circles, according to  the online magazine Quillette (June 11). Cathy Young reports that the controversy over liberalism boiled over recently in a feud between New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari and National Review writer […]

Cryptocurrency driving new religious entrepreneurs

The emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is inspiring religious entrepreneurs to assist existing religious organizations or create new decentralized religions, writes Michael McKinley in America magazine (June 24). Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, constitute a kind of currency without intrinsic value or physical form, one that exists only as ethereal data and […]

Clergy engaging in denominational switching in unstable church environment

Denominational switching has long been fairly common among Protestant lay people, but more recently the trend is also evident among clergy. A report in Baptist News Global (June 19) finds that clergy, especially in the moderate and liberal offshoots of the Southern Baptist Convention, such as the Alliance for Baptists, have searched for greener pastures […]

The post-charismatic success of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga has become a trend among fashionistas, as evidenced by a number of articles appearing in popular women’s magazines, writes Julie Rambal in the Swiss daily Le Temps (June 19). Not everybody is enthusiastic, though, since the practice has reportedly led some followers to introduce significant changes into their way of life. The success […]

Reforms initiated by Pope Francis seen as far-reaching, with no way back

While many Catholics are frustrated with the apparent lack of implementation of Pope Francis’ promised reforms, substantial reforms have in fact already begun to be put in place step by step and will be hard to undo, writes Robert Mickens in La Croix International (June 28). A “systematic deconstruction of the Roman Curia’s longstanding function […]

CURRENT RESEARCH – July 2019

The research group Barna has just issued its list of the most “post-Christian” cities in America, with those in the Northeast region and particularly New England reaching the top. The top eight cities on the list are all in this region, reports Relevant magazine (June 7). The Springfield-Holyoke area of Massachusetts, the Portland-Auburn region of […]

Students of Mexico’s religions find a patchwork of new colors

When one remembers Graham Greene’s portrayal of Mexico’s religious landscape, one might think of grayish and sad, old musty churches. In that view, faith is seen as moving mountains among those suffering poverty and despair. However, the last 30 years have completely challenged that image. The country is now living through a huge transformation, a […]

Religion found to offer political resource in secularized societies

High religiosity is not a prerequisite for the successful use of religious arguments, and even very secularized Western societies can sometimes find religious arguments convincing, writes Petr Kratochvíl (Institute of International Relations, Prague) in The Review of Faith and International Affairs (Spring). Especially in populist discourses, religious arguments can become tools of identity construction. The […]

Middle Eastern Christian migrants replacing one minority status for another?

Middle Eastern Christians migrating to the West are facing the challenge of moving from being a minority in predominantly Muslim societies to a minority in post-Christian countries, leading to feelings of isolation and separateness from their host populations, according to a study by Fiona McCallum published in the Journal of Church and State (Spring). In […]

Ukraine’s new Orthodox Church independent from Russia but not its own government?

While the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has emerged on the world stage as the legitimate and canonical church supported by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, at home the new church faces old rivalries as well as the perception that it is receiving inappropriate support from the government, writes Katherine Younger in IWMpost (Spring/Summer), the publication of […]