Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

New Christian hybrid schools growing and competing in post-pandemic landscape

Christian “micro-schools” have been started across the country, “offering a hybrid in-class and at-home education to keep costs down and the odds of survival up in an increasingly competitive K-12 sector,” writes Vince Bielski on the Real Clear Investigations website (August 17). After years of stagnation, many long-established Christian schools are also increasing their enrollment. […]

Clergy shortage in Zen Buddhist communities challenging Buddhist transmission in America

There is a clergy shortage in Zen Buddhist communities in the U.S., leading to new roles for the laity but also greater bureaucracy in some cases and a looming crisis in transmission as teaching and rituals are scaled back, according to sociologist Rebecca S. K. Li of the College of New Jersey. Li presented her […]

A new spring for Basic Ecclesial Communities among Brazil’s Catholics?

After years of decline, Basic Ecclesial Communities are sensing that the time might be ripe for growth again thanks to support from Pope Francis, reports journalist Eduardo Campos Lima in La Croix International (July 28). Associated with Liberation Theology as a theoretical foundation, the Basic Ecclesial Communities (abbreviated as CEBs in Portuguese and Spanish) accordingly […]

Churches find place in pluralistic and secularist Sweden

Sweden’s reputation as a leader in secularization trends still holds, though it seems less monolithic when looked at regionally, according to an article by Paul Glader on the website Religion Unplugged (August 11). The article focuses on evangelical and Pentecostal churches and the innovative methods they have adopted to reach secular Swedes, but also reports […]

Soccer in Saudi Arabia also about religion

The recent soccer player-buying spree by Saudi Arabia also involves both geopolitical and religious dimensions, writes James M. Dorsey in his Substack newsletter The Turbulent World (August 5). There is no doubt that salaries motivate high-profile players—some of them Muslim, but not all—to move to Saudi Arabia, but religious affinities with a country that is […]

Yoga flourishes in Syria, with regime’s blessing

In regime-controlled areas of war-torn Syria, there are now 620 centers where people can practice yoga and meditate for free, reports Petra Ramsauer in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag (August 6). The International Day of Yoga on June 21 is now officially promoted in Syria and provides the opportunity for public yoga events. While there […]

New cardinals set to keep papacy in the mold of Francis?

Pope Francis’s recent naming of 21 new cardinals in early July is likely to be decisive in tilting the vote of the next papal conclave and keeping the papacy in the mold of Francis, according to reports. The National Catholic Reporter (July 21–August 3) notes that 18 of the 21 new cardinals are under the […]

Methodist schism larger than expected as middle path gives way

Departures from the United Methodist Church (UMC) are increasing, reaching over 6,000 congregations—a fifth of the U.S. total—that have now received permission to leave the denomination, the Associated Press reports (July 6). The departure of conservatives over theology and the role of LGBTQ people in the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination and the numbers leaving are […]

Witchcraft’s commercialization advances at the expense of nature practices

Witchcraft has become a multibillion-dollar business, with a level of commercialization that has been affecting these Pagans’ practices and relation to the natural world, writes sociologist Helen Berger in The Conversation (July 26). Today, witch kits are sold by large companies and in stores—“something unheard of when I began my research in 1986,” Berger writes. […]

Could lab-grown meat be certified as kosher and halal?

Lab-grown meat has become a topic of interest for startups, as the possibility of its being certified kosher or halal could open up access to millions of potential consumers among religious communities, writes journalist Nina Schretr in the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps (July 15). Her article pays special attention to discussions in Israel, after […]