Sightings Articles

Three white men in black robes, two of them with red-colored sashes, walk in a crowd where people are holding flags and wearing shirts with the saying "Marcia per la vita"

Roman Catholicism | Pope Francis | Cardinal Burke | American religion

The Cardinal and His Popes

The tension between Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis offers a window into the state of Roman Catholicism in the world and American religion....

December 13, 2023
Black and white image of church on fire, with silhouettes of multiple figures in the foreground.

racism | Higher law | Wilmington Riot

“The Higher Law”: Tracing the Color Lines with Charles Chesnutt

Charles Chesnutt’s novel "The Marrow of Tradition" indexes the ongoing persistence of racism and the recourse to a color-blind “higher law” based putatively on ability rather than race....

October 19, 2023
A field of red tulips with green stems

Redlining | Amanda Williams | art | Reformation

Redefining Redlining on Chicago’s Southside

The tulips in Amanda Williams' art installation enact for residents who live in or pass through the area that tenacious double effect of urban redlining: the mark of the past is never entirely erased....

June 15, 2023
Painting of Oedipus at Colonus

Oedipus | humanities | Religion and Literature

Oedipus Then and Again … And Again

Pasolini’s Edipo Re reminds us of the boldness at the heart of humanistic learning: the conviction that the texts we decide to study should matter not just for us but for anyone. ...

March 9, 2023
The Pope in a white hat and white robe waves with his right hand with his back turned toward the camera.

Catholicism | Pope Benedict XVI | Pope Francis

Papal Fallibility

Commentary prompted by the recent death of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI unsurprisingly indexes the usual binaries of sensationalized speculation. ...

January 4, 2023
Black graduation caps and the backs of multiple heads

higher education | Economics | humanities

(Not) Doing It for the Money

The American educational system and religion are more closely tied to economics than is readily acknowledged....

October 13, 2022
empty church

political partisanship | Christian Nationalism | Roe v. Wade | Southern Baptist sexual abuse scandal | Federalist Society | U.S. Supreme Court

Partisanship in Religion and Politics

Many lament the obliteration of bipartisan politics: too few acknowledge it as a casualty of the idea that America is a "Christian nation"....

May 25, 2022
franz

Franz Bibfeldt | Martin Marty | Academic Humor

The Return of Franz Bibfeldt

Bibfeldt’s return invites us to remember that there is an essential place for the occasional fit of laughter in even the most scholarly house....

April 6, 2022
god - blake

art | Religion and Literature | prophets

The Christian Who Was a Church of One

In a world that seems to me to offer precious little of the mantle of prophecy, I offer you William Blake....

February 17, 2022
library

Books & Culture | liberalism | higher education

Faustian Bargains

The Great Books, Religion, and “Higher Education”...

January 28, 2022