I saw the first dandelion in my lawn yesterday, and today two advertisements for lawn care companies arrived in my mail-box. Call it a coincidence, but for many in America, such a conjunction of signs would be the trigger of a largely unconscious religious crisis.
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April 15, 2004
April 12, 2004
Not in recent memory have "Christianity" and "Judaism" received more media attention than this year in Holy Week and during Passover. Magazine cover stories, television programs, films, and newspapers gave attention to Jesus, to Jewish meanings and practices, and the like.
April 8, 2004
The Passion of the Christ has jolted Aramaic from peaceful senescence to play for the largest audience in its history. As a Semitic philologist who studied with the same teacher as the movie's translator, Father William Fulco, I wondered how Aramaic worked in the film. Listening for Palestinian dialects, I encountered a stark linguistic mysticism instead.
April 5, 2004
No, I am not guilty of plagiarism or piracy, but I may be guilty of promotion: while the gist and meat of this column come directly from someone else's, Sightings will give full credit. So, no plagiarism. Promotion? Guilty.
April 1, 2004
Martin Marty recently wrote a helpful review of the first of two Emergent conventions (www.emergentconvention.com) being held in 2004 (Sightings, March 22), concurrently with (but separate from) the National Pastors Conference.
March 29, 2004
Sightings sees so many things that we who write it are not easily surprised by what we read. Surprised I was, however, by the penultimate paragraph and punch line in a David Brooks op-ed (New York Times, March 22), which seemed to be leading to a pitch for prayer in public schools. At the last moment the columnist drew back and came up with a more promising, if more radical, proposal.
March 25, 2004
Those who partake of the lonely occupation of listening to late-night radio know that this sector of American media can be rather squalid. Much of what occupies the AM airwaves during those hours when normal people are sleeping is divided between droning repetitions of the day's inevitably dreary news, and airings of vociferous, and often egregiously uninformed, opinions on call-in shows.
March 22, 2004
"This is not your usual kind of venue, is it?" "Are you going to write it up?"
March 18, 2004
Martin Marty argues that self-proclaimed “free-thinkers” in America have been small in number and marginal in influence -- largely bogeymen conjured by religious groups to tar their enemies and fill their coffers ("Tracking the Nones," Sightings, 2/16/04).
March 15, 2004
Where are the protesting and dissenting voices of the church? We often hear that question asked, sometimes tauntingly, sometimes plaintively. Decades ago, Catholic, Jewish, Mainline, and sometimes Evangelical religious leaders were up front in demonstrations.
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