Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

“Successor ideology” putting the squeeze on Western religion in elite colleges?

Is “woke” identity politics squeezing out religious practice at elite American colleges? That is the contention of Anna Keating, a former Catholic chaplain at an unnamed elite college in New England, in a controversial blog article in the Hedgehog Review (May 4). Although only focusing on one college, Keating has subsequently said in a video interview [see below] that what she witnessed is fairly common at other elite institutions.

Women challenge ultra-Orthodox authorities on work and reproductive issues in Israel

The view of ultra-Orthodox Judaism as a conservative force in Israeli society is only half the picture and does not account for the changes taking place among ultra-Orthodox women on reproductive and work decisions, writes Michal Raucher of Rutgers University in the online magazine The Conversation (May 17).

Buddhist response to Covid-19 proceeds under watchful eyes of Chinese state

Facing disease and death, many in China have found solace in Buddhist teachings and practices during the pandemic, while the state has been careful to curb large gatherings at religious places, possibly not only for health reasons but also because of their potential for sparking criticism of the state’s handling of the crisis.

Choral music’s road to recovery long and uncertain

Choirs were one of the first casualties of the pandemic, and both their potential for being superspreaders and their loss of status in churches will likely prevent their full restoration in American religious life anytime soon. The New York Times Magazine (April 1) chronicles the story of one chorus in Washington state that was said to be one of the first superspreaders in the early days of Covid, while also describing how religious and secular choral music has been affected by the pandemic.

Slavic evangelicals undergo generational transition and target America for revival

In a reverse mission strategy, Russian and other Slavic evangelical churches are growing in the U.S. as they reach beyond their immigrant base and seek to bring revival to other Americans, writes Adam Morris in Charisma magazine (April). Across the country, “pockets of Slavic Christians are building churches and spreading the gospel from their new home base.

Critics of measures against Covid-19 in Germany less Christian than expected

The worldviews supporting protests against measures (such as the compulsory wearing of masks) for preventing the pandemic in Germany appear to be more strongly influenced by alternative religious beliefs than by evangelical and rightwing ones, writes Kai Funkschmidt in Zeitschrift für Religion und Weltanschauung (2/2021).

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt seeing steady defections

Egypt’s Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, is facing a pattern of defecting members who are publicly speaking and writing about the group and facing few restrictions in doing so, writes Mustafa Menshawy in the journal Religions (12). In the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the election of Mohamed Morsi as the country’s president in 2012, the once-powerful Muslim Brotherhood has faced strong restrictions, including violent repression, as well as the defection of members.

Female Islamic leaders in Indonesia take on prominence during the Covid-19 crisis

The pandemic has given female Islamic authorities (ulama perempuan) and female religious organizations in Indonesia an opportunity to stand out by developing creative ways of addressing gendered aspects of the crisis, write Mirjam Künkler (Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study) and Eva F. Nisa (Australian National University) in the Spring 2021 issue of The Newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS).

China brings rural village preservation effort into line with its anti-religious campaign

China is increasingly targeting rural areas of the country in its anti-religion campaign, according to the newsletter Bitter Winter (April 20). Much of this rural crackdown on what is considered illegal religious activities are being conducted through the country’s “Beautiful Village” policy, where model rural villages are awarded with this designation if they meet criteria […]

Former evangelicals find trauma and media spotlight

Ex-evangelicals are becoming a recognizable and influential social movement with its own political and psychological critique of evangelicalism. “After Trump was elected, many young evangelicals began to leave their churches altogether,” writes Stephanie Russell-Kraft in The New Republic (March 23).