Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

New Atheism finds new targets on the left

While the New Atheist movement, represented by such authors and spokesmen as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, has lost much of its public prominence, its contentious form of atheism is now more often directed at academic liberalism as well as Islam. In the magazine The Point (number 8), Jacob Hamburger writes that 2014 was the […]

Religious left finds hope at midterm of Trump era

There are signals of a new dynamism of the religious left in the U.S. for similar—if opposite—reasons to those that drove the Moral Majority on the right 40 years ago, writes Tom Gjelten in NPR News (Jan. 24). While they are still primarily “[keeping] their focus on protest rallies and social media campaigns” and remain […]

Changes in temple ceremony leading to changed Mormon attitudes toward gender roles?

Changes to one of the special ceremonies held at the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) that extensively revised and eliminated references to traditional gender roles have been favorably received by church members and may result in more egalitarian attitudes toward gender roles among them, writes Benjamin Knoll in the […]

United Nations’ secular culture stymieing interfaith relations?

Interfaith dialogue at the international level is well-meaning, but it is unclear if it advances its stated goals of reducing tensions and conflicts, writes Jeffrey Haynes (London Metropolitan University) in an issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs (Fall 2018) devoted to interfaith on the world stage. Indeed, as the editors of the […]

Culture war or political competition in the Netherlands?

A U.S.-style “culture war” seems unlikely in strongly secularized Dutch society, yet, with the help of American evangelical influence in the Netherlands’ small Bible Belt, this seems to be occurring, reports The Economist (January 9). In early January, 250 clerics, mainly from small conservative congregations, signed on to the Dutch version of the American-based Nashville […]

Steiner schools celebrate hundredth anniversary with emphasis on internationalization

While the schools and educational movement inspired by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) first spread in German-speaking countries and then in other areas of the Western world, they are now present in other cultural surroundings as well. But the success of Steiner’s educational principles at the 100th anniversary of the first school’s founding may also lead to […]

Russia expands Middle East mission to encourage Islamic moderation

Russia has actively been promoting a politically pacifist form of Islam, which is coinciding with a push by certain Arab countries to encourage Islamic moderation, writes Hassan Hassan in The Atlantic (January 5). Russia’s growing presence in the Middle East is usually viewed in strictly military and economic terms, but the country’s recent Islamic outreach […]

China’s crackdown seeking sinicization of churches

In what is reported to be the worst crackdown on religion since the country’s Cultural Revolution when Mao Zedong’s government vowed to eradicate religion, researchers say that the current drive in China is less about destroying Christianity than “bringing it to heel,” reports The Guardian newspaper (January 13). Fueled by government unease over the growing […]

Pastor-centered, independent fundamental Baptists feel abuse scandal

Fundamentalist Baptists are facing their own sex abuse crisis, propelled by their churches’ pastor-centered model of leadership, according to an in-depth report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (December 9). The eight-month investigation by the newspaper found that “For decades, women and children have faced rampant sexual abuse while worshipping at independent fundamental Baptist churches around […]

Millennial Sikhs show vitality on elite level, lagging influence in congregational life

American Sikhs of the millennial generation are pioneering new human rights and political groups and are highly literate when it comes to Sikh teachings and rituals, but their influence has yet to be felt on the local congregational level. That is the conclusion of a series of articles on Sikh millennials in a special issue […]