Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

Backlash grows against “Christian nationalist” label, media hype

As the drumbeat about “Christian nationalism” becomes louder in the media and public life as the elections approach, conservative Christians, academics and journalists are reacting against what they see as the broad-brushed and even prejudicial application of that label, according to various reports. Christian nationalism may have various historical incarnations, but most recently it emerged […]

LGBTQ movement taking on religious trappings through its rituals

While LGBTQ people have had a high rate of non-affiliation, through their parades, holidays, and other rituals, the community has gradually shifted from a protest movement to a “civil religion” with transcendent elements, according to a study in the social science journal Society (online in April). Danish scholars Stefan Schwarzkopf, Sine Nørholm Just, and Jannick […]

Jewish campus groups experience revival after October 7

A growing number of Jewish students in the U.S. are finding camaraderie and support in campus groups such as Chabad and Hillel in the months since October 7, as anti-Israel protests on campuses continue to multiply, writes Deena Yellin in the Times of Israel (April 28). Yellin cites Anti-Defamation League figures reporting that antisemitic incidents […]

Regionalization plans in global churches reflecting fragmentation or potential schism?

Global churches such as the United Methodist Church, the Anglican communion, and even Roman Catholicism are increasingly taking a regional approach to address serious divisions and fragmentation, writes Elizabeth Russell in the Christian news magazine World (May 4). African members and leaders of the United Methodist Church (UMC), which has already split in the U.S. […]

South Asian revivalist Islamic movements and their political potential

Even apparently apolitical Islamic groups may become politically charged, writes Thomas K. Gugler (Goethe University, Frankfurt) in a report in German published by the Austrian Fund for the Documentation of Religiously Motivated Political Extremism (February). Gugler focuses on lay preachers working within revivalist missionary movements from South Asia, such as the Tabliġhi Jamaʿat and the […]

Jewish community negotiating secular, migration changes in Finland

Representing a rare continuation of Eastern European Ashkenazic Orthodoxy that survived the Shoah intact, the Jewish community in Finland now includes a significant number of Jews who have come from abroad and faces increasing secularization along with new influences. These changes “have led some members [to] opt for increasing adaptations to secular society and some […]

Between tradition and innovation, women ulama issuing fatwas in Indonesia

Women Islamic scholars in Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, are challenging male authority through fatwa-making, thus enriching Islamic jurisprudence, promoting inclusivity within Indonesian society, and marking a significant shift towards gender justice, writes Nor Ismah of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Melbourne Asia Review (April 20). There has been a growing interest among scholars […]

Evangelicals dividing on the finer points of gender and sexuality

Although issues of sexuality and gender continue to roil most Christian churches, evangelical organizations are experiencing divisions less over LGBTQ behavior and more over identity and even terminology. Mary Jackson reports in World magazine (March 9) that even such a stalwart organization as Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) is facing criticism from its staff […]

Evangelicals and raunchy culture—a new affinity or reaction?

Evangelical culture has appeared to become more accepting of vulgarity and even profanity, though the sources of such a change are contested. In the New York Times (March 17), Ruth Graham reports on how conservative leaders and “influencers” in politics and the media have appealed to and been accepted by many evangelicals in vulgar and […]

Israel, Hamas, and AI’s religion problem?

Israel’s failure to understand the threat posed by Hamas, leading up to the October 7 attack, has been attributed to many factors, but the role of artificial intelligence and the technology’s blind spot toward Palestinian Islamic jihadism should not be discounted, writes Ofira Seliktar in the foreign policy journal Orbis (Spring). Israel’s leaders were of […]