Posts Tagged ‘Volume 38 No. 3’

Catholic divisions intensify as the Synod of Bishops approaches

In our annual review last month, RW speculated that the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI might spur conservative Catholics on to greater dissatisfaction and protests against the papacy of Francis, who is seen as having a freer hand to implement his progressive reforms. Judging by recent events, this scenario seems to be happening in […]

Classical religious colleges show resilience, growth in a field of dropping enrollments

While national college enrollment has decreased by 13 percent over the last decade, a new breed of “classical” religious colleges have defied the crises of Covid, economic recession, and a smaller national pool of applicants with significant increases in enrollment, writes Jeremy Tate in First Things magazine (January 3). These colleges, some of which were […]

“Lutherpalians” become a reality after years of ecumenical engagement

More than two decades after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church became full communion partners, congregations from both denominations are joining forces in arrangements that many see as the wave of the future for mainline churches, according to Living Lutheran magazine (January 19). Since the ELCA and the Episcopal Church […]

“Manifesting”: spiritual practice or virtual positive thinking?

The practice of “manifestation,” based on the idea that one can will their ideal reality into existence, is making the rounds on the internet, specifically TikTok, but observers are divided on whether it is an alternative spiritual self-help strategy or just a technological version of positive thinking. In The Tablet magazine (January 25), Katherine Dee […]


While religious identity has remained stable in post-pandemic America, a new study finds that there have been significant losses in religious attendance. The 2022 American Religious Benchmark Survey, conducted by the American Enterprise Institute and the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, compared religious affiliation and attendance data before the pandemic (from 2018 to […]

Virtual hajj addressing global Islam and alienation from Saudi control

While what is called the “virtual hajj” became a necessity during the pandemic, it will likely assume a greater place in world Islam due to quota limitations on pilgrims and the globalization of the faith, writes Song Niu in the journal Contemporary Islam (online in January). Virtual hajj refers to several kinds of participation in […]

New legal framework for Morocco’s Jewish community

Reflecting both the normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco and an interest in Jewish culture in that country, a royal decree issued on November 3, 2022 provides the Jewish population of Morocco with a new legal framework, reports Lamia El Fehaim (French Institute of Geopolitics, University of Paris VIII) in the Observatoire Pharos (January […]

Congolese branch of Islamic State targeting Christians for world attention

Recent attacks on churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the Islamic State suggest a new strategy of targeting Christians to gain world attention, according to the Terrorism Monitor newsletter (January 20). On January 14, the Congolese branch of the Islamic State (IS) bombed a church in Kasindi, killing 10 people and injuring […]

Africa experiences vibrant Christianity but shows ecumenical deficit

While successive waves of missionaries from different Christian denominations over centuries have divided African converts among the different branches of Christianity (leaving aside the impact of African Initiated Churches independent from missionary denominations), ecumenical institutional initiatives remain “generally unknown in parishes, Christian groups and families,” writes Josée Ngalula in La Croix International (January 24). Ngalula, […]

Indian Catholics’ worship war shows few signs of resolution

A long-running “liturgy war” in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India, marked by street brawls, hunger strikes, the burning of pastoral letters, and the immolation of cardinals’ effigies, has reached a stalemate after a violent episode in December, according to the Catholic newsletter, The Pillar (January 7 and 16). Shortly before Christmas, gangs clashed inside […]