On December 27, 1986 Arthur Hertzberg, Yvonne Haddad, and I were asked by the American Historical Association (AHA) to lead a plenary session on militant fundamentalisms in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. That was the first time I dealt with the subject.
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May 10, 2004
May 6, 2004
In the weeks before Passover and Easter, a search on the word "Jew" at the popular Internet search engine Google returned a vehemently anti-Jewish site, JewWatch.com, as the first link. "Jewish Mind Control," "Jewish Power Lords," and "Jewish-Run Organizations" (identified as the New York Times and the NAACP) are among the many distressing links presented on the site.
May 3, 2004
"We have written previously to you voicing our concerns … about protecting God's gift of air .... We now request an opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss our concerns."
April 29, 2004
After a long legal journey, the Supreme Court has finally heard Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, better known as the "Under God" case. A decision is expected later this spring.
April 26, 2004
This week: a little essay on statistics and surveys. When I joined the Christian Century staff forty-eight years ago, the editors used to joke about how, when they were bored or the Letters to the Editor file was slim, they could evoke responses from readers. Their tactic: choose topics to which people bring passion.
April 22, 2004
Tucked away about thirty miles southeast of South Bend, Indiana, sits Goshen College. Home of the Mennonite Historical Library (MHL) and the site where Harold S. Bender founded the Mennonite Quarterly Review (MQR) in 1927, it is regarded by many as the heart of Anabaptist studies in America.
April 19, 2004
It cannot be lost on us academics, theologians, and other scholars that when it comes to "town meeting time" on campuses, the audiences are made up predominantly of older people. When I visit a campus, I meet a goodly number of alert and concerned students all day long, in classes and seminars and social hours.
April 15, 2004
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.
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.
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