Posts Tagged ‘Volume 39 No. 8’

Revisions on sexual ethics intensifying United Methodist schism?

In what is the largest church schism since the U.S. Civil War, the split in the United Methodist Church (UMC) may have exacerbated divisions between progressives and conservatives to a greater degree than other mainline churches. This may be because the culture wars have intensified [see last month’s RW interview with James Davison Hunter], but […]

Evangelical church switching and competition driven by roles of evangelism, family ministry?

Church practices concerning baptism, evangelism, and family ministry and their societal implications may be driving congregational switching among evangelicals, according to Michael Clary, a conservative Reformed writer and pastor. The Substack newsletter Rod Dreher’s Diary (June 26) cites Clary in comparing the different trajectories of evangelicals as they have switched between Presbyterian and Baptist churches […]

Nudism bares its spiritual side

Nudism may be declining on an organizational level, but new spiritual techniques and meanings are becoming attached to the practice, Rowan Pelling reports in the online magazine UnHerd (June 24). The nudist ethos grew out of the German Lebensreform movement, which challenged the destruction wrought by the Industrial Revolution. Yet the German Association for Free […]


■  American women have recently been showing high rates of disaffiliation from religion, although they are still more likely to stay in their childhood religion compared to men. In his newsletter Graphs About Religion (June 27), Ryan Burge reports that the gender gap on religion remains. “In recent decades, evangelical retention was about four points […]

Young French Catholics drawn to religious rituals and practices

There is a renewed interest in religious rituals and practices among young French Catholics, contrasting with a broader decline in religious practice and attendance in France and other Western countries, La Vie (June 6) reports. In several cities, priests have seen a significant increase in attendance at Ash Wednesday masses, with a few churches even […]

Tibet appealing to Western countries over succession of Dalai Lama

The Tibetan government-in-exile is seeking European support on the issue of the succession of the Dalai Lama, reports Intelligence Online (June 6). With the 14th Dalai Lama (b. 1935) getting older, the question of his succession is turning into a crucial concern for the worldwide Tibetan community, which is anxious about keeping the Chinese government […]

Anti-euthanasia activism in Spain setting the tone for future Catholic political battles?

The next front for conservative religious activism is likely to be the fight over euthanasia, and the model for such activism may be seen in Spain’s growing network of religious and political organizations fighting against the right to assisted dying, two researchers argue. In the journal Religion, State, and Society (online in May), sociologists Joseba […]

Christians seeking Aramaic identity in Israel meet obstacles

As a way to adapt to Israeli nationalism and gain favors from the Jewish state, a group of Christian churches are stressing their Aramaic rather than Arab identity, Marta Wozniak-Bobinska reports in the journal Nations and Nationalism (online in June). The Aramean movement in northern Israel, which is also active in other countries, seeks to […]

Indian election results cast shadow on Hindu nationalist aspirations

The 2024 election results in India have “dealt a significant blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), shattering its confidence in its ability to mobilise voters using its Hindutva ideology, which promotes Hindu nationalism and marginalizes religious minorities,” reports Newsreel Asia (June 5). This was particularly reflected in the party’s low election results in the […]

Evangelicalism meets quest for Berber identity in Kabylia

Conversion from Islam to Protestantism in Kabylia (an area of northern Algeria) fits with the region’s cultural and political claims for autonomy, writes Hamida Azouani-Rekkas (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) in Multitudes (No. 95, Summer). The Kabyle people are one of the Berber (Amazigh) groups of North Africa. Starting from cultural and […]