Sightings Articles

"Remember Aaron Bushnell," written in red spray paint next to a spray painted flame illustration, in a white-walled underground tunnel.

Religion and law | Palestine | Aaron Bushnell

“. . . you’re doing it right now”: Aaron Bushnell and Legal Pluralism

What if we understand Aaron Bushnell’s action as opening onto a different legal order—and collectivity—one to which we all also belong?...

March 7, 2024
Black and white lithograph of Thomas Jefferson sitting at desk with books

Enlightenment | Thomas Jefferson | Christianity

Enlightenment Religion in the Private and Public Bibles of Thomas Jefferson

For Thomas Jefferson, the human being's responsibility was to extricate and celebrate good religion....

February 29, 2024
Two children in striped shirts look out the window at trees and a brick building.

ethics | environmentalism | anthropocentrism

In Short Measures Life May Perfect Be

If what makes human life sublime is complete, without the need for growth and endurance across time, this is exactly the sort of thinking our planet needs....

February 15, 2024
large square canvas with two rectangular swatches in purple and red

Religion and Art | Essentialism | Religious Experience

Smart Sightings | The Religious Experience of Mark Rothko

Can art and the experience of art be divine? Mark Rothko's "No. 2" offers alternative ways to think about religion....

February 8, 2024
Two paintings side by side on gray backdrop. In the painting on the left, a naked white man is being bitten on the leg by a lion while his hands are trapped in a tree stump. In the painting on the right, three white figures look in shock and point at a fourth, who is wearing a blue robe.

Religion and Art | Comparison | Power

Smart Sightings | Caught Between Text and Image

The juxtaposition of paintings by Il Pordenone and Noël Hallé reflects the conceit of the exhibition: the value and dangers of comparison....

February 2, 2024
Black and white etching of a man fighting a lion and grasping at its throat

Samson | Israel | Gaza

Samson in Gaza

The biblical story of Samson sheds light on the current war in Gaza....

January 25, 2024
Red "Make America Great Again" baseball cap rests on an open Bible; a blurry map of the United States is visible in the background.

Donald Trump | Evangelicalism | politics

The Long Road to Iowa

Neatly dividing "political evangelicals" from "religious evangelicals" is an impossible task....

January 17, 2024
A lone figure stands in a field of gray rubble among crumbling buildings, against a blue sky with white clouds.

Gaza | Journalism | bearing witness | Israel

Witnessing Genocide

The work of journalists in Gaza bridges a conception of secular truth-telling with religious witnessing....

January 11, 2024
Yellow, teal, red, and blue colorful cloth draped on teal-colored wall

abstract art | cataclysm | color

Smart Sightings | Unfurling Color: Sam Gilliam's "Rim"

In an often bloody and fiery world, we must ask how beauty and devastation are construed, how color and valuation are apprehended, and how these considerations will inform us. At their best, this is what art and religion can help us imagine, interrog...

December 28, 2023
Black man in blue postal uniform with hat and white man in beige jacket standing in a crowd, with a large red bow behind them

Christmas | Mimetic Rivalry | René Girard | Competition

René Girard and the True Meaning of Christmas

“What’s all this violence? It’s Christmas…”...

December 19, 2023