Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

End-times thinking flourishes despite evangelical political victories

Judging by the number of new books and social media posts, there has been a surge of belief and discourse concerning the “end-times,” writes Molly Olmstead in the online magazine Slate (October 6). She cites Publishers Weekly reports on the increasing reader demand for end-times topics, usually centered around interpreting current events like the pandemic, […]

Generational change driving collaborative turn in Vineyard churches

As younger generations take charge, the Vineyard church, once known for its emphasis on “signs and wonders” and the entrepreneurial style of its pastors, is shifting to a worship and leadership style characterized by democratic participation and collaboration, writes Daniel Silliman in Christianity Today (October). Since the 1970s, Vineyard churches have been seen as the […]

Religious liberty intensifying culture wars?

A new study finds that religious freedom is becoming a long-lasting wedge issue in the culture wars between conservative religious believers and secularists, especially as the former become likely to take on the status of a religious minority themselves. In a study published in the journal Religion, State, and Society (50:3), political scientist James Guth […]

Presidential elections divide Brazil’s evangelicals while Afro-Brazilians enter political fray

In the race between current President Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil’s elections, evangelicals are finding themselves sharply divided on the candidates, even as Afro-Brazilian religions are finding a new voice in the political process. Writing in Christianity Today magazine (September), Marcos Simas and Carlos Fernandes report that while […]

“Green wave” of progressivism sweeping Latin America puts religion on defensive

While the “green wave” of progressive politics that is sweeping much of Latin America is unlikely to secularize the continent, it is creating a new pluralism as well as a growing divide between younger and older generations on religion and morality, according to specialists. RW was in Bogota, Colombia, shortly after Gustavo Petro assumed the […]

Pope Francis planning his succession through cardinal appointments

While some observers have seen the consistory and two days of meetings Pope Francis held in late August with 197 cardinals as a pre-conclave preparing the way for the election of a new pontiff in the not-too-distant future, Vatican observer Jean-Marie Guénois sees the pope preparing methodically to ensure the continuity of his line (Le […]

Supreme Court’s religion rulings accelerating or relieving culture wars?

That the recent Supreme Court decisions on church-state issues will have an impact on American religion in upcoming years seems to be taken for granted. But opinions vary as to just what these landmark rulings will mean for the role of religion in public life and the sharp polarization of American society, according to one’s […]

Congregations put reparation programs in place ahead of government

“Weary of waiting for the federal government to take action on reparations for black Americans, a growing number of churches and other faith groups have started reparation programs of their own,” writes Julia Duin in Newsweek (July 31). The debate over granting reparations for slavery and discrimination against African Americans has been a longstanding one, […]

“Post-religious right” makes its debut in American politics

Irreligious and secular elements are taking control of the American political right, according to recent reports. While the recent Supreme Court rulings on abortion and church-state issues suggest the continuing relevance of religion to conservative activism, Nate Hochman argues in the New York Times (June 5) that they are more like a “last gasp,” as […]

Jewish left leaving behind religion?

A religious “commitment gap” between liberal and conservative Jews is increasingly defined by politics and raising questions about the future of the Jewish left, write political scientist Samuel Abrams and historian Jack Wertheimer in Tablet magazine (June 24). The authors cite recent research suggesting that politics is driving religious identity more than religious beliefs are […]