Sightings

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June 10, 2013
“Every living and healthy religion has a marked idiosyncrasy” wrote philosopher George Santayana, and its power comes from the “special and surprising message and the bias which that revelation gives to life.” He preferred to see religions interact positively, but he also knew the difficulties based on difference. A religion “offers another world to live in,” and “another world to live in. . .
June 6, 2013
Over 92 bills in 32 state legislatures have been introduced to prevent “religious laws” from being used in court decisions–that is, non-Christian “religious laws.” Seven states successfully turned these bills into law, including Oklahoma, where 70 percent of voters in November 2012 supported a ban on Islamic Sharia Law.
June 3, 2013
Father Andrew Greeley, who died last week, embodied “public” concerns in religion and theology. Fittingly, the University of Chicago’s David Tracy who is the “Greeley” Professor of Catholic Studies (Emeritus)—a chair endowed by Andrew—provided what has become a classic statement of “publicness” in theology (see References, below).
May 30, 2013
The 9/11 attack, like all terrorist incidents, was a global message aimed at multiple audiences. That it is now seen as a generational moment may be attributed to a CNN camera crew which happened to be, by dint of luck, timing, or the will of God, in position to film the impact of the second jet striking the Twin Towers.
May 27, 2013
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.
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.

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