Sightings Articles

Two skeletons facing each other against a purple and orange backdrop

Halloween | Rituals | Symbolism

Mary Douglas and the Ritual of Halloween

Halloween typifies the kinds of symbolic rituals present in our fragmented experience of modern life.

October 31, 2022
Jagged rows of blue and black TV noise dots form a dizzying pattern

distraction | Technology | secularism

Attention, Please

A culture of distraction may detract from religiosity and lead to lazy secularism.

September 22, 2022
empty classroom with chairs

gun violence | gun legislation | political partisanship

Thoughts and Prayers

As inhabitants of the only country in the world where school shootings are routine, the American faithful must not pray for serenity, but for courage.

June 8, 2022
legally blonde elle woods

feminism | Film | women

Getting Serious about Legally Blonde

The 2001 comedy shatters expectations about what makes a good heroine

May 9, 2022
sausages

religious freedom | Protestant Reformation | Christianity

The Affair of the Sausages and Religious Freedom

Five hundred years ago today, some Swiss people ate sausages. This was a major event in the history of Christianity.

March 8, 2022
band aid in shape of a cross

evangelical Christians | Catholic Church | Christian Right

Are Vaccine Exemptions Actually Religious?

Large-scale vaccine skepticism is a new phenomenon, but is it a religious phenomenon?

February 4, 2022
desmund tutu street art

Desmond Tutu | social justice | global Christianity

The Revolutionary Joy of Desmond Tutu

There is a danger in softening Tutu’s legacy, but we make the same mistake in the opposite direction if we forget his contagious, all-embracing joy.

January 6, 2022
facebook eye reflection

Social Media | Pope Francis | Internet

The Irony of Facebook

Ironically, social media sites draw upon our natural desire to have friends but they can make it more difficult to truly connect.

November 4, 2021
conspiracy wall

conspiracy theories | humanness | political partisanship | power differentials

Conspiracy Theories and Human Psychology

The unsettlingly normal cognitive roots of outlandish explanations

September 9, 2021
Israeli Police at Al-Aqsa

political religion | violence | history

What Makes a Conflict "Religious"?

Sometimes our categories conceal more than they reveal

June 7, 2021