Sightings

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September 30, 2013
Billy Graham was feted in a conference at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, September 26-28, 2013. The Institute for the Study of Evangelicals planned and hosted the event, which featured a dozen substantial in-process chapters from a forthcoming book. The 95-year old now-weakened evangelist is in retreat at Montreat, his North Carolina home.
September 26, 2013
It's been a busy few months for anyone paying attention to issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia.
September 23, 2013
On Pope Francis, Stephen Pope (no relation) of Boston College spoke wisely. According to many analysts, the Pope seemed, in his interview published September 19, 2013, to chide U.S. Catholic bishops for having focused too much on cultural or “social" issues, abortion, birth control, and gay issues. Careful, said theology professor Pope.
September 19, 2013
As readers of Sightings know, these columns often bring to light expressions of religion hidden in public life as it engages current events.  But sometimes truths are concealed even in religion’s appearance.  
September 16, 2013
“Buridan’s Ass” comes to mind as citizens ponder what to think and what to favor in the Syrian civil war. Look it up: this is the dilemma of Buridan’s ass (named after philosopher John Buridan). Poised equidistantly between two equally attractive bales of hay, the animal had no reason to choose one bale over the other. Unable to decide, he starved.  
September 12, 2013
One week after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, 2001, my then-eight-year-old daughter Zoë crawled into bed with my wife Holly (Zoë’s stepmom) early one morning after I had gotten up to make coffee and feed the dog. We were living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, close to the congregation where I serve as minister, five miles north of the World Trade Center site.
September 9, 2013
Last week the Associated Press reported that Pastor Robert Schuller has “stage four” cancer and The New York Times reported the destruction of the “Walk of Faith” on the grounds of Schuller’s realized dream, the Crystal Cathedral.
September 5, 2013
Where does religion come from, and where does it lead us? No one wrestled and played more deeply with these questions than Robert Bellah, who died unexpectedly on July 30. From Micah and Plato through Durkheim and Weber to Tillich and Talcott Parsons, Bellah reached across the ages to find teachers and friends in history. The past is never dead, he taught in turn.
September 2, 2013
After a month of non-labor, the Marty Center’s staff returns and publishes on Labor Day. Given the choice of dramatic, horrendous, headline-grabbing topics (e.g.
July 29, 2013
During Sightings’ annual “August Hiatus,” I (figuratively) load up my beach bag with books and other reading materials. I provide some suggestions at the end of this column should you be doing the same.

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