Posts Tagged ‘Volume 31 No. 5’

Religion goes undercover as publishers seek to reach the “nones”

The growth of religiously non-affiliated Americans or the “nones” is leading to a significant shift in religious publishing, not only in marketing books to religious professionals attempting to win nones back to the faith but also in targeting this amorphous group of readers that includes a mix of disaffected believers and non-believers. Publisher’s Weekly (Feb. […]

The fragmenting of evangelical approaches to the Bible

The days when evangelicals defined themselves by their uncompromising style of biblical interpretation may be over according to an article by religion writer Jim Hinch, senior editor for Guideposts magazine, in the Los Angeles Review of Books (Feb. 15). Hinch sees this growing diversity as part of a wider transformation of evangelical Christianity confronted by […]

Is there a diversity problem at evangelical colleges?

American evangelical colleges are under pressure to diversify their student body and faculty as well as their worship programs according to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Feb. 5). The recent controversy over the firing of professor Larycia Hawkins from Wheaton College over her beliefs about Islam (claiming that Christians and Muslims worship […]

A Jewish-Christian breakthrough—Orthodox included?

Jewish-Christian relations have appeared to enter a new stage of tolerance and acceptance, although it is uncertain to what degree the new conciliatory attitudes will reach laypeople on the congregational level. In an exchange of letters marking the 50th anniversary of the Vatican document Nostra Aetate in December, more than 50 Orthodox rabbis issued a […]

Current Research: March 2016

The perception that the Christian faith is “extreme” is “now firmly entrenched among the nation’s non-Christians,” according to a study by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group. Three-quarters of all Americans—and nine out of ten Americans with no religious affiliation—hold that religious extremism is a threat to society, most likely a reaction to the growth […]

Czech Republic no more atheist than the rest of Europe?

The Czech Republic has been called the most secular and atheistic society in the world, but its atheism is actually not much higher than in other European countries, and churches still play important roles in the nation writes sociologist Petr Pabian in the current issue of the Czech theological journal Communio Vittorum (1:2015). Pabian argues […]

New religious movements showing no marked growth in post-communist Europe

While new religious movements (NRMs) tend to be seen by church and state authorities as a threat to “spiritual security” in the Russian Federation, they seem mostly to be perceived as a minor and relatively innocuous phenomenon in other post-Soviet countries if one reads the articles on various NRMs in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, […]

Tamil Hindus in the UK adapt in the absence of religious space

In areas where they have no access to “Tamil-orientated” temples, Tamil Hindus either visit non-Tamil temples or perform their own rituals in non-institutional settings, reports Demelza Jones (Aston University, Birmingham) in the journal Religion (Jan.). Tamil temples tend to be different from those of Northern India. Their deity images are carved from black granite, while […]

Botswana’s labor movement cuts its teeth on church piety

Just as the growth of Methodist piety in the 19th and early 20th centuries led to trade union activism in Britain, the southern African country of Botswana is seeing strong church-based involvement in its burgeoning labor movement, writes Pnina Werbner in Anthropology Today (Feb.). She writes, “In Botswana, unlike in some neighboring countries including South […]

Findings & Footnotes: March 2016

Numen, a journal of the history of religions, devotes much of its January issue to historical and current developments in the Church of Scientology. Editor of the section James R. Lewis notes that although there is increasing scholarly opinion that L. Ron Hubbard established Scientology as a religion for purely pragmatic reasons, the articles treat […]