Seldom have we gone sighting religion in its denominational forms. With good reason, some would say: religion draws attention today more in expressions of individualized spirituality, at local assemblies, through causes and caucuses and parachurches, and in independent "community churches" than in denominations. The day of the denomination is over, one hears from time to time.
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August 20, 1999
A few days ago we ventured to do some sightings of public religion in the arts, drawing on a tenth anniversary issue of IMAGE and its "State of the Arts" symposium. Having scanned in the last Sighting the print media, let's look at other arts as examples of religion-in-public.
August 17, 1999
Public religion, we cannot repeat often enough, is not the same thing as "religion and politics." Public religion has to do with faith and spirituality in the academy, the forum, in media and the marketplace, in the conference hall and the gallery.
August 5, 1999
Sighting "religion" and "spirituality" in American bookstores will beeasier than ever this fall. In PUBLISHERS WEEKLY'S semiannual preview (July 12), Lynn Garrett summarizes: "The sleeping giant of religion/spirituality book sales began to stir more than ten years ago," and the publishers' lists are "still lush with choices."
August 4, 1999
"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.
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).