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.
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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.
July 25, 2013
In a 2012, New York Times music-album review, “On Religion: A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer,” klezmer musician Andy Statman discusses a Christian hymn that appears on his album Old Brooklyn: “It’s about belief in God, a direct experience of God…It’s a song any monotheist can get behind.’”
July 22, 2013
Published in late 1959, my first book, The New Shape of American Religion, cited several mainstream commentators and spotted numerous trends to suggest that the then-much-noticed “revival of interest” in religion had crested in 1958.
July 18, 2013
The 2011 Canadian census data regarding religion was recently released by Statistics Canada, the federal agency that tells us Canadians, and interested others, what to make of the decennial censuses taken by the government.
July 15, 2013
Two weeks ago Sightings picked up on some lines written by the influential Evangelical-oriented author, Eric Metaxas. “Not so fast,” he wisely enough cautioned those who consider legalized, same-sex marriage to be inevitable. And yet, hours after he posted this alert, the United States Supreme Court issued a judgment, which made legal same-sex marriage look a bit more inevitable.
July 11, 2013
Against the backdrop of the recently reignited and widely publicized violence in Egypt, violence that has included calls for jihad against President Mohamed Morsi’s opponents, I was struck by a thought-provoking article in Time (July 1, 2013) that details the relatively unpublicized but growing violence between Buddhists and Muslims in several Asian locales (“The Face of Buddh
July 8, 2013
Sociologist Rodney Stark’s article in the Wall Street Journal, “The Myth of Unreligious America,” is his well-stated rejoinder to other sociologists, demographers, and religious leaders who imply that the “game is all over” for religion and religious believers in America today.
July 4, 2013
The Fourth of July is a good day to remember the Rev. John Boyle, warrior turned healer, who left this world not long ago. During WW II, John was a 19-year-old sergeant in the U.S. Army fighting in Germany. He wrote this remembrance, in a draft of a book on forgiveness we had been working on together:
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