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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
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 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.
July 7, 1999
On Easter Sunday, Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley announced to an astonished crowd of believers in Salt Lake City and thousands more watching via satellite that the church was going to rebuild a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. Nauvoo is now a sleepy town on the banks of the Mississippi River, with a population of 1,227.
June 30, 1999
Attempting to trace religious attitudes in magazines that are decisively on the left is difficult, chiefly because there are so few surviving periodicals over on that side. On the right one can do sightings in the NATIONAL REVIEW, the AMERICAN SPECTATOR, and COMMENTARY, among others.


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