Filed under Religion in the News

A Scholar Examines Presidents’ and Theologians’ Takes on ‘Ex Corde’

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced about a year ago the start of its 10-year review of Ex corde Ecclesiae, a Vatican document that Pope John Paul II released two decades ago to guide Catholic colleges, sparking questions about institutional autonomy and academic freedom. But the review was designed to take place behind … Continue reading

Historic document on mission issued

Recently, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance issued an historic document on mission, questioning many traditional practices and agreeing on standards of integrity about such issues as coercion, cultural hegemony, and “conversion”. The document is the result of five years of consultations by some 40 experts in ecumenical and … Continue reading

Think Global, Hate Local: Britain’s Far-Right in Focus

Conference Report: By Daniel Jones, and Thomas Malby, graduating students from The University of Northampton. On 15 April 2011 at the University of Northampton, the Radicalism and New Media Research Group hosted a daylong conference entitled Think Global, Hate Local: Britain’s Far-Right in Focus. This event brought together academics, activists and professionals in a unique … Continue reading

From Jesus Music to Lady Gaga

It comes as no surprise that the nation’s capitol has continued down the partisan path, while offering lip service to ideological equanimity. These dichotomies appear to be, to some extent, simply part of the human experience. And when it comes to religion and politics nowhere are these dichotomies quite as salient. A poignant reminder of … Continue reading

The Death of God After the ‘Death of God’

A recent study released by a group of American scholars suggests that ‘religion’ may soon die out in nine countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. The paper, delivered at a meeting of the American Physical Society and titled ‘A mathematical model of social group competition … Continue reading

Double Black Diamond Jesus

Neil Elliot, a priest at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Trail, British Columbia, has become the first person in the world to earn a doctorate in ‘snowboarding’, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Already a Master of Arts in theology and Islamic studies, Elliot submitted a dissertation that examines the ‘spirituality’ of the winter … Continue reading

The Sacred and the iPhone

(Cross-posted from The Philosopher’s Eye) By Toby Betenson Since its release, the iPhone has managed to take charge of most of its users’ lives, and now it seems it will take charge of their souls as well. Once a simple device that granted you access to phone calls, text messages, emails, social networking and twitter, … Continue reading

COMMENT: Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan

By Benedict Rogers (Reposted from one year ago. Extended version available here) Benedict Rogers is a writer and human rights campaigner with Christian Solidarity Worldwide based in London. He also serves as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission. On 11 August 1947, Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah spelled out his vision for … Continue reading

NEWS: Pop Music and the Occult?

Problems associated with racism have often been the result of ill-conceived notions about nation and divine favor. Moreover, consumers of popular music have often associated blues and rock ‘n’ roll with evil. Although the culture wars created public debates (and fears) which focused on perceived connections between pop music and the Devil, none came close … Continue reading

NEWS: Faith and Education

A recent article by Andrew Penman in The Independent highlights some of the issues faced by parents when choosing a school for their children. Since writing his book School Daze: Searching for Decent State Education Penman claims he has suffered abuse and vilification. The primary focus for this opprobrium appears to be focused upon the … Continue reading

NEWS: Recognition for Britain’s “Oldest” Religion

This week it has been announced that ‘[d]ruidry is to become the first pagan practice to be given official recognition as a religion’ in Britain. Recognition by the Charity Commission relates in the main to financial regulations, and indeed this rationale lay behind the Druid Network’s application. However, an additional benefit of this acknowledgement means … Continue reading

NEWS: John Mellencamp and African-American Religion

The search for authenticity is everywhere. Musicians argue over what is true to the original expression, whether rap, folk, blues, or anything attached to a history of struggle. The same can be said about religious experience. But what is truly authentic? At what point does something cease being authentic? In true Americana form, singer and … Continue reading

NEWS: Preparations for the Pope’s Visit to the UK

Ahead of this week’s long awaited visit by Pope Benedict XVI the BBC has published his proposed itinerary. The first papal visit to the UK in 28 years includes a combination of private and public events focused around London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Despite the ongoing controversy over child abuse allegations against members of the Roman … Continue reading

NEWS: Anne Rice Leaves Christianity to Follow Jesus

Amid the complexity (and tumult) that is the history of American Christianity, conflict over what is essential to Christian identity dies hard. The Salem witch trials, the Scopes Monkey Trial, Roe v. Wade, and the ongoing debate over “family values” are all part of the larger evangelical legacy. While evangelicals also have a separate history … Continue reading

NEWS: Religion and Heavy Metal Music

Born Ronaldo Giovanni Padavona, heavy metal music icon Ronnie James Dio (known for his operatic voice of thunder) passed away recently. Dio has performed with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own solo project, Dio. With song titles such as “Gates of Babylon,” “Heaven & Hell,” “Holy Diver,” and “The Devil You … Continue reading