"Have you read Luke Timothy Johnson's review in COMMONWEAL?" a friend asked. We hadn't. "Johnson's comment on religious studies in the academy relates to your 'public religion.'" Yes.
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August 2, 1999
Unfair! That is what we would have to say in response to a July 21 column by Michael Kinsley, who writes for (and edits) SLATE, the Internet magazine of opinion. Eric Greenberg, of the JEWISH WEEKLY, called it to our attention and asked for comment as he prepares an editorial on Kinsley.
July 29, 1999
On July 1, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah threw his hat into the already crowded ring of presidential candidates. The four-term Republican is only the third practicing Mormon ever to run for president. Church founder Joseph Smith, feeling that his people were not being fairly protected by the government, sought the office in 1844, the same year he was killed by assassins.
July 27, 1999
Discussions continue: Do American citizens share any "grand narrative," any common framework of stories that helps bind them? Did they ever, or should we be content to be "storyless" people, constituted by separate and conflicting stories, each appropriate only to a particular group (e.g., gays, Hispanics, the abused, Native Americans, and more)?
July 22, 1999
The concept of public religion can seem abstract, remote, ethereal, and hard to grasp. However anyone who monitors its appearances, as we do, knows that public religion seen up close is concrete, material, and graspable. It appears when humans with names and personalities undertake projects that make differences, for better or for worse, in the human city.
July 21, 1999
Most "Sightings" deal with events and trends. Now and then we like to helpother "Sighters," as we did recently by calling attention to a book on religion reporting. Today we return to the scene of dissemination and again refer to a book that missed us or we missed in the year of its publication: Mike Farry's THE DIRECTORY OF PUBLISHERS IN RELIGION (Scholars Press, 888-747-2354).
July 19, 1999
Unitarians, Mormons, and Southern Baptists: Observations from Salt Lake City -- Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Unitarian Universalists, who were in Salt Lake City recently for their annual meeting, could not have presented a more distinct counterpoint to the state's dominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church.
July 15, 1999
"Well, if you're not Catholic, or Protestant, or Hebrew, what in blazes are you?" an army sergeant barked to "some theologically precise recruit (probably a high-church Episcopalian) who insisted he was neither Catholic or Protestant or Jewish." So reported Will Herberg in his classic PROTESTANT, CATHOLIC, JEW in 1955.
July 13, 1999
July 9, 1999
The World Church of the Creator, the white supremacist movement that helped impel Benjamin Smith to go on a hate-crime murdering spree, propagated itself online. Like many other hate groups, it has had a Web site, and like so many others, it promotes ideology that is manifestly destructive of human good.
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