Sightings

Sightings

Charitable giving is up for three causes: arts and the humanities (6.3%), education (7.4%), and animals and the environment (6%). But giving to religious organizations was down 1.6% from 2012 to 2013.

Forty years ago Americans were stunned by images of North Vietnamese tanks rolling into the heart of Saigon. The Vietnam War had bitterly divided the nation and cost 58,220 American lives. Responding to American public opinion, then President Gerald R. Ford declined to intervene — a tacit admission of defeat.

On November 29, 1981, a story in the Chicago Tribune proclaimed: “Hans Küng, one of the world’s most important religious figures, is hero for some and heretic to others.” Mr. Küng received coverage in the Trib because he had been invited to guest-teach at the University of Chicago Divinity School, two years after the Vatican has stripped him of his missio canonica, the license necessary to teach as a Roman Catholic theologian.

Demography, "the science of vital and social statistics," can help trend-spotters discern and explain many trends in American religion. A rule of concerned participants in religious groups where trends are more often “downward-” than “upward-” pointing is: knowledge of demographic trends can help explain, but it cannot excuse those who are coping or trying to cope with trends which mark “downwardness.”

Glenn Greewald's calling out of Sam Harris' speech as anti-Muslim rhetoric sparked quite a debate. Is Mr. Harris a new form of atheism an old form of colonialism?

Dealing with the dark side of the Passion story and Passover is integral to dealing with magnifications of real life and its nether sides. Martin Marty on Bach's bright side during Holy Week.

Martin Marty on the porous lines between Christian and secular music as matters of taste, whether it be pop, folk, or classical.

Martin Marty on the public consequences of divorce when churches and families relegate it as a private matter.

Though the terms "Jesus"and "wife" may prompt new obsessions, guest contributor Martin Marty writes, they won't likely change the course of biblical scholarship.

Could the concerns of Jewish and Muslim minorities in Berlin serve as a chance for "secular" Berliners to to examine their own identity? Guest contributor Brian Britt explores the role of history as a distraction challenging modern-day civility.

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