Current Issue: Volume 38, No. 2

From Dobbs to Ukraine, 2022 religion dramatic and consequential

Religion in 2022 saw the intensification of trends that were visible in the previous year, none more dramatic and traumatic than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on Eastern Orthodoxy. The following review of last year and preview of how these trends may play out in the year ahead is lengthier than previous annual […]

CURRENT RESEARCH

Aside from using online technology to extend their reach, congregations’ spiritual and religious leadership also cultivated more locally based practices during the pandemic that lessened their reliance on maintaining an online presence. In contrast to the predominant narrative focusing on congregations’ innovative use of online technology, Steve Taylor and Dustin D. Benac write in the […]

Social media amplifies Buddhist scandals, lowering monks’ status in Thailand

While financial and sexual scandals have taken place among Buddhist monks for decades in Thailand, the spread of news and criticism of this behavior through social media is having a detrimental effect on the reciprocal relationship between clergy and laity, write Brooke Schedneck and Steve Epstein in the online magazine The Revealer (December 8). The […]

Transgender exceptions making their way into Buddhist monasticism

Monastic Buddhism’s traditional norms regarding gender and sexuality are gradually shifting to include LGBTQ persons and identities, writes Jue Liang in the online magazine, The Conversation (December 8). Liang notes that Buddhism has been strongly based on traditional gender roles, especially in its monastic traditions where men and women are segregated in their roles and […]

Indonesian Muslim organization seeks to reform Islamic jurisprudence

As part of efforts to reform Islamic jurisprudence as well as define the future path of global Islam, religious scholars, led by the Indonesia-based Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), are discussing the religious legitimacy of the United Nations and the nation-state, thus hoping to counter notions of a caliphate and a transnational Islamic state, writes journalist and […]

Burundi sees increasing sacralization of political discourse

According to its constitution, the Eastern African nation of Burundi is a secular state, but the discourse of the country’s political leadership is permeated with religious references, reports the French Observatoire Pharos (November 22), based on information from local media. Religion is being turned into a public and political issue. An evangelical vocabulary is being […]

Findings & Footnotes

■  The current issue of the Journal of Church and State (64:4) focuses on legal issues relating to Covid-19, specifically the free exercise of religion. The guest editor Adelaide Madera notes that, as might be expected, the curtailments of religious freedom took place in the early phase of the pandemic, but the conflict between the […]

On/File: A Continuing Record of People, Groups, Movements and Events Impacting Contemporary Religion

The Engaged Spirituality Project encourages journalists covering religion to adopt ethnographic methods to convey a more in-depth and fine-grained account of religion for their readers. The project, run by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, brings together social scientists—including a core of ethnographers—and journalists to identify, interview, contextualize, […]