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.
April 25, 2013
In an article that appeared in The Guardian a few days after the March 13, 2013, election of Francis, the first Pope from South America, the British environmental activist, George Monbiot, railed against depictions of the new Pope as a defender of the poor. Monbiot testified to his personal experience of working with Catholic priests in Brazil in the 1980s.
April 22, 2013
Three “War College” scholars, in the Spring 2013 issue of Daedalus (see reference), discuss some of the reasons why the military wins more confidence than other American institutions. The military is not our subject; those authors may be biased because of their vocation and location, and we may lack full confidence in Harris and Gallup and Pew and other measurers of opinion.
April 18, 2013
In late February 2013, University of Chicago professor emeritus Marshall Sahlins formally resigned from the National Academy of Science (NAS) in protest over that body’s election of Napolean Chagnon as a member and its sponsoring of research to improve combat performance for the US military.