The names of Catholic theologian Hans Küng and Pope Francis are both in the news because Küng was sighted saying friendly things about the Pope and the Pope was apparently saying friendly things about God-and-atheists. Such stories demand or evoke in this “sighter’s” mind some historical recall which helps set the news in context.
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May 23, 2013
Before first light on a Saturday in July 2012, three Catholic activists—two laymen aged 57 and 63, and an 82-year-old nun—trespassed onto the Y-12 nuclear reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
May 20, 2013
The Ivy League Christian Observer arrives quarterly, beckoning for attention, whichSightings provides. The stated mission of Christian Union (CU), the Observer’s publisher, is this: to bring Christ to students attending elite American colleges and universities because alums have an outsized influence on culture and society.
May 16, 2013
Last month a contentious exchange broke out between Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald and one of the torchbearers of the so-called New Atheist movement—Sam Harris. The quarrel began when Greenwald tweeted a link to an Al Jazeera article by Murtaza Hussain.
May 13, 2013
Almost always Sightings takes off from the sighting of a particular recent news event. This week, for fun and games, we’ll make an exception and address a generic theme: the religious left.
May 9, 2013
Nashot Ha-Kotel (Women of the Wall) in Jerusalem, led by the Israeli-firebrand social activist, Anat Hoffman, are back in the headlines this week following a major legal victory. The court ruling marks a turning point in a more than two decades-long struggle between the Israeli government, various religious authorities, and the increasingly prominent activist group.
May 6, 2013
Devoted to "public religion" or "religion-in-public," Sightings surveys public arenas that are not confined to the political world. Education, commerce, entertainment and the arts represent spheres where publics encounter religion.
May 4, 2013
One of the most heated public controversies over a religious theme in America has to do with Holocaust studies. And none has been more heated and more public than that between Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior editor of COMMENTARY (published by the American Jewish Committee), and Franklin H. Littell, a noted Christian researcher and writer on the Holocaust.
May 2, 2013
An April 13, 2013, New York Times article by Julia Preston reports a shift of opinions on immigration policy among evangelical Protestants in the United States.
April 29, 2013
Fifty-two years ago—can it be?—I published The Infidel: Freethought and American Religion, and have been tracking “the infidel” ever since. Whether he or she was dubbed “free-thinker,” “agnostic,’ “atheist,” “secularist” or many things more, the infidel thrived on the reaction of the “religious” majority.