Posts Tagged ‘Volume 37 No. 9’

Supreme Court’s religion rulings accelerating or relieving culture wars?

That the recent Supreme Court decisions on church-state issues will have an impact on American religion in upcoming years seems to be taken for granted. But opinions vary as to just what these landmark rulings will mean for the role of religion in public life and the sharp polarization of American society, according to one’s […]

Congregations put reparation programs in place ahead of government

“Weary of waiting for the federal government to take action on reparations for black Americans, a growing number of churches and other faith groups have started reparation programs of their own,” writes Julia Duin in Newsweek (July 31). The debate over granting reparations for slavery and discrimination against African Americans has been a longstanding one, […]

Catholic schools enmeshed in gender, racial conflicts

Once seen as a refuge from political conflict and pandemic closures, Catholic schools are in the “midst of their own internal struggles of whether to wade into cultural touchstone debates or hold firm to religious teachings,” writes Jeremiah Poff in the conservative Washington Examiner (July 13). The controversies over “wokeness” that are shaking secular institutions […]

Evangelical colleges targeted by their own LGBTQ alumni groups

Alumni groups are playing a significant role in challenging evangelical colleges’ and universities’ stances on LGBTQ issues, writes Liam Knox in Inside Higher Ed (July 14). Some of the most prominent evangelical colleges have influential LGBTQ alumni groups aiming to reform their institutions according to their agendas, writes Knox. Among the most prominent is OneWheaton, […]

“Double-lifers” influencing ultra-Orthodox communities

On the margins of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, an underground community made up of exiters and “double-lifers,” those secretly distancing themselves from the religious community, is contributing to changes within ultra-Orthodoxy, writes Jessica Roda (Georgetown University) in an article in French published in the Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions (April–June). The author stresses that while there […]


The pandemic and other factors have led to dire forecasts about churches, not the least being the Episcopal Church. Writing in the blog Religion in Public (July 15), Ryan Burge notes that the Episcopal Church’s long decline in attendance seemed to have leveled off at about 550,000 shortly before the pandemic. Since then, however, the […]

Priests become prominent in Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s march towards independence

While most bishops have tended to be cautious regarding the issue of their connections with the Moscow Patriarchate, priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) have been the driving force behind the church’s recent move towards affirming independence from Russian supervision, writes Andriy Fert (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy) in Religion & Gesellschaft in Ost […]

Micro pilgrimages progress in post-Covid landscape

The growth in the numbers of people making pilgrimages, including both devout and unchurched seekers, shows no signs of letting up, but since Covid “micro pilgrimages” are becoming more popular, writes Anne Bailey in the open-access journal Religions (July 20). A micro or “mini” pilgrimage usually can be completed in one day or less and […]

Radical environmental activists in France seek bridges with spirituality

Known for its use of civil disobedience to alert the public about climate change and other threats to the environment, the French section of Extinction Rebellion (abbreviated XR) launched a spiritual branch (XR Spi) three months ago, which in July met with some Christian groups sharing its concerns, reports Weilian Zhu in La Vie (July […]

Japan’s wedding churches seek religious legitimacy

The proliferation of “wedding churches” in Japan is leading to a unique form of Japanese Christianity that is long on ritual and short on belief, according to an article in the Journal of Religion in Japan (online in July). For decades there has been a large Japanese demand for Western-style church weddings, usually in hotels […]