Students rest on the green lawn on the main quad at University of Chicago

Sightings on Summer Hiatus

Enjoy a curated reading list until we return for Autumn Quarter in September.

By Lauren Pond|June 27, 2024

Dear Readers,

Today marks the beginning of Sightings’ summer hiatus. We will resume publication for Autumn Quarter in September. As the Marty Center and our contributing writers prepare for the coming academic year, we invite you to peruse a curated reading list of Sightings pieces from the past ten months, which we have thematically grouped below:

Science and Religion
The Alabama IVF Decision is About Care Work by Sarah Zager
Asking the Right Questions about Genetic Engineering by David Barr
Diagnosing Saints by Halley Haruta
Sustaining Kin in the Climate Crisis: An Earth Day Reflection by Kristi Del Vecchio

Christianity and Politics
Today's Amish Are Plain, Not Simple by Lauren Pond
A Forgotten Story about Christian Anti-Racism by Emily D. Crews
Donald Trump and the Exceptions of American Evangelicalism by John Stackhouse
Civil Religion as a Gateway to Christian Nationalism by Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood
The Fullness of Life: Remembering Jürgen Moltmann by Janna Gonwa

Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish Imagination
Jews, Semites, and Antisemitism by Simeon Chavel
Emptying the Arsenals of Memory by David Gottlieb
Witnessing Genocide by Alireza Doostdar
Samson in Gaza by Brian Britt
What We Write about When We Write about the War in Gaza by Sarah Hammerschlag

Religion and Popular Culture
Selling the Gospel of Positive Thinking by William Schultz
A Demon for Everyone: Religion in the Latest "Exorcist" by Matthew Cressler
René Girard and the True Meaning of Christmas by Russell P. Johnson
Demon Slayer: Pop Religion and Japanese Anime by Bruce Winkelman

Secularism, Liberalism, and the Law
Enlightenment Religion in the Private and Public Bibles of Thomas Jefferson by Richard Rosengarten
“. . . you’re doing it right now”: Aaron Bushnell and Legal Pluralism by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Liberalism’s Identity Irresolution by Timothy Gutmann

Additionally, we welcome you to read articles from the Marty Center’s Smart Sightings series, a collaboration with the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art.

Today also marks my final day as the digital producer for Sightings. It has been a pleasure and a privilege facilitating this weekly newsletter over the past two years, as well as contributing my own writing on occasion. The essays we have published continue to help me think critically and capaciously about the intersection of religion and public life, as I hope they likewise do for you.

During the hiatus, we encourage you to reach out to us at or about potential articles or topics you would like to see us cover in future editions. We appreciate your support and wish you a safe, restful summer!

Lauren Pond

Featured image by Charissa Johnson

Lauren Pond headshot

Lauren Pond

Lauren Pond is the Marty Center's Digital Media & Communications Manager. She is an award-winning creative producer who uses audiovisual storytelling to explore and evoke the complexities of religious life. Lauren previously served as Multimedia Producer of the American Religious Sounds Project, a Luce Foundation-funded digital research initiative co-directed by scholars at The Ohio State University and Michigan State University. She published her first monograph,  Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation, through Duke University Press in 2017.