Sightings Articles

TikTok

religio-secular culture | Technology | public conversation

TikTok and Cultural Criticism

The democratization of social commentary

October 1, 2020

religious freedom | prisons

Diet and Free Exercise

How do religious beliefs decide what prisoners and patients eat? Two recent court cases in Virginia pit religious diets against the need to serve diverse populations in public institutions. In one case, a prison inmate has requested kosher food, whi...

June 13, 2019

Civil Religion | Colin Kaepernick | football | national anthem | NFL | Robert Bellah | Sports | Tim Tebow

Taking a Knee as Critical Civil Religion

What happens when we compare Colin Kaepernick to Tim Tebow? Here we have two professional football players “taking a knee” not for a coach’s huddle but to express personal convictions outside the boundaries of their sport. I understand how much th...

January 5, 2017

Religious and Secular Identity in Berlin — Brian Britt

Several recent incidents in Berlin have escalated tensions between Muslims, Jews, and the city's secular majority. Over a month ago,a rabbi wearing a kippa, or yarmulke, was beaten by four "Arab-looking" youths after being asked if he and his daughte...

October 6, 2012

Thoroughly Mainstream Mormons – Brian Britt

“The Book of Mormon” is the most profane Broadway show in memory, but it treats its subject with surprising warmth and acceptance. The New York Times calls the musical “sweet,” and the Church’s official response could not be milder: “The production m...

April 28, 2011

Drinking the Kool-Aid — Brian Britt

Thirty years have passed since the murder-suicide of over nine hundred members of Jim Jones's People's Temple, on November 18, 1978.  A sign hanging in the pavilion of Jonestown at the time read, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to r...

November 20, 2008

Post-Zionism or Post-Judaism? — Brian Britt

Two radically different new films, the American comedy You Don't Mess With the Zohan and the Israeli dramaRestless, tell remarkably similar stories of Israeli soldier-assassins who start new lives in New York. By normalizing the image of soldiers and...

June 26, 2008

Death and the Compass -- Brian Britt

The July 7 bombings in London were made especially menacing by an Islamist website that claimed that the four sites of attack were designed to stamp a "burning cross" on the city. According to the Guardian, the attacks "also suggest a symbolic signif...

September 22, 2005

Supreme Court Theology — Brian Britt

College religion courses come in many varieties, with no consistency in labeling. "Theology" at one school may be called "religious studies" at another, and at still others missionaries are trained under the rubric of "intercultural studies." While m...

September 9, 2004

Supreme Court Theology — Brian Britt

College religion courses come in many varieties, with no consistency in labeling. "Theology" at one school may be called "religious studies" at another, and at still others missionaries are trained under the rubric of "intercultural studies." While m...

August 9, 2004