Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

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 […]

Fasting reinvented in post-Catholic Austria and France

While the Catholic Church’s traditional prescriptions concerning bodily asceticism are largely ignored by the faithful, even in monasteries marked by “the progressive imposition of the prerogative of health over asceticism,” forms of voluntary reduction of consumption are appearing in secular society. This observation prompted sociologist Isabelle Jonveaux (University of Graz) to conduct research in Austria […]

Protestant-Catholic tensions grow even in post-Catholic Europe

There are growing tensions between Catholics and evangelicals in Europe, inflamed by remaining church-state disputes in areas where Catholicism is still dominant, reports Christianity Today (March). Concerns about growing secularism in Europe in recent years have led to more conciliatory attitudes and efforts between evangelical Protestants and Catholics. But although the Catholic Church no longer […]

Post-zero Covid China sees upsurge in spiritual seeking among young

Younger generations are increasingly turning to the supernatural to weather bad economic times in post-zero Covid China—from engaging in birth-chart readings, horoscopes and hexagrams to personalized advice from a psychic master—“all mediated, in true 21st-century fashion, by an app,” writes Aaron Sarin in the online publication Quillette (March 26), a publication covering free speech issues. […]

Wide range of conservative Christians take up the veil

There is a modest revival of conservative Christian women using veils and other head coverings during worship, reports Gottesdienst (February 27), a journal of Lutheran liturgy. While traditional Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox women have long taken up the veil during their liturgies, this practice is now spreading among conservative Lutherans, Reformed Church members, and […]

Women gaining entry to Sikh leadership in the U.S.

Women are increasingly taking up leadership roles in organized Sikhism in the U.S. and are challenging the norms and gender roles in male-dominated institutions, writes Komal Kaur in the journal Sikh Formations (online in February). Younger Sikhs have become increasingly activist in the religion in recent years, though more in society than organized Sikhism [see […]

In wake of scandals, 3HO movement signs on to DEI and seeks Sikh ties

Although the 3HO movement, a “neo-Sikh” group promoting Kundalini Yoga and drawing a largely white following, continues to suffer repercussions from sexual abuse scandals involving its founder Yogi Bhajan [see RW, Vol. 34, No. 9], the group has reinvented itself, stressing racial equality and diversity and building ties to mainstream Sikhism, writes Simranjit Steel in […]

Role of Orthodox military chaplains enhanced in Russia

One should expect the relationship between the military and the Russian Orthodox Church to continue developing and playing a role in countering antiwar sentiments, writes Pär Gustafsson Kurki, Senior Researcher at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI), in a recent report titled Apostles of Violence: The Russian Orthodox Church’s Role in Russian Militarism. Although only […]

Deep changes underway in Islam in West Africa

Islam in West Africa has undergone significant transformations since independence, including urbanization, modernization, globalization, and possibly the feminization of Islamic practices, writes Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, senior researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), in the online Bulletin de l’Observatoire International du Religieux (January). While not denying the presence of vibrant […]