Sightings Articles

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
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
Square panel with triangular top, golden background, depicting Christ's crucifixion

Religion and Art | Crucifixion | redemption

Smart Sightings | Mary Magdalene's Invitation to Redemption

This depiction of the Crucifixion is special in that its iconography focuses on St. Mary Magdalene, presenting her as a role model for the Christ-loving, repentant sinner seeking forgiveness—and finding it....

December 6, 2023
Two men flank Moses as he sits and holds up a rod in this black and white illustration

Judaism | Memory | Trauma | Israel

Emptying the Arsenals of Memory

The gap between contemporary and ancient conceptions of memory lie at the heart of the challenge in understanding Israeli and Jewish perspectives on October 7 and its aftermath....

November 30, 2023
Abandoned building with crumbling gray cement exterior, looking out from inside

Structural Violence | Social Injustice | Media

Structural Violence in the Headlines

Focusing only on direct violence obscures other, potentially more harmful, social injustices....

November 21, 2023
Two intertwined dark bronze hands lightly touching at the fingertips with small space in between

art | Embodiment | Religion and the Senses

Smart Sightings | Embodying Religion in Rodin's "The Cathedral"

Time and again, my camera has taught me that religion is deeply enmeshed with the body and everyday lived experience. Rodin’s piece resonates similarly....

November 16, 2023