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
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NEWS: A Brief History of Heaven
A recent article by Johann Hari for Slade, looks at the evolution of understanding and thinking about heaven. Despite what may appear to be an increasing onslaught of secularism within Britain, Hari points out that this is not reflected in the United States of America. Instead, he states that:‘ 81 percent [of Americans] say they believe … Continue reading
NEWS: Oral Roberts (1918-2009)
Oral Roberts, the charismatic Pentecostal, controversial faith healer, and groundbreaking televangelist, died Tuesday (Dec. 15) from pneumonia complications at the age of 91. Roberts, who began his ministry in the 1940s and first broadcast his revivals in 1955, is perhaps best known for his notorious on-air plea in 1987. In a tearful performance, Roberts told … Continue reading
NEWS: Creationism vs. Darwinism in Rap
Ever since the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, there have been heated discussions between those who believe in divine creation and those who favour the theory of evolution. Although, it may be argued that the two are not mutually exclusive, for many the issue remains divisive. However, 150 years on, it … Continue reading
NEWS: The Latest Dan Brown Controversy
Today saw the world premiere of Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. As with Brown’s previous novel (and film) The Da Vinci Code, much of the film’s action is said to centre on the Roman Catholic religion. Although, Angels and Demons avoids some of the previously controversial material such … Continue reading
NEWS: Triumph of ‘New Atheism’?
Madeleine Bunting (The Guardian) uses the start of Holy Week to highlight what she describes as the spectacularly rapid collapse of British Christianity. Furthermore, she identifies the fundamental role of the ‘New atheists’ as one of drowning out real debate about faith. It is the perceived rise of the ‘New atheist debate’ which gives Bunting … Continue reading
NEWS: Sport and Spirituality
Stuart Weir’s recent article in The Times explores the issue of religion and sport, asking if the two are fundamentally incompatible. If one was to take Vince Lombardi’s assertion that “[w]inning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing,” it would appear that there is no room for love, spirituality or faith. However, in his text … Continue reading
NEWS: The True Meaning of Christmas
With Christmas almost upon us, two news stories have recently attempted to explore the festival’s relevance to modern life. The BBC looks to history to answer the question ‘Should we idealise Christmas past?’ Alternatively, the Guardian takes the opportunity to forecast the future of Christianity in the UK, reporting a Christian Research report which states … Continue reading
NEWS: Did Prophet Muhammad Ever Exist?
Germany’s first ever professor of Islamic theology has sparked a new controversy about Islam. Muhammad Sven Kalisch, himself a Muslim convert for 27 years, has recently angered Muslims by claiming that his life-long research shows that the prophet is probably a fictional character. Denounced by his fellow-believers as apostate, the 42-year-old German scholar has also … Continue reading
NEWS: Can Faith Offer Greater Opportunity for the Rehabilitation of Offenders?
The Observer has recently reported on the growing resurgence of religious groups working within prisons. This may conjure up visions of the Victorian prison visitor, exhorting inmates to repent their wicked ways by finding solace in their bibles. However, today’s groups are actively involved with prisoners, in an attempt to address their offending behaviour, as … Continue reading
NEWS: U.N. Secretary-General Condemns Iran’s Persecution of Baha’is
Earlier this week, Ban Ki-moon expressed his dissatisfaction with Iran’s human rights record, including the continuous persecution of the followers of the Baha’i Faith. Founded by the Persian nobleman Baha’u’llah in the mid-19th century, the religion is now second only to Christianity in terms of geographical spread, with some 5.5 million adherents around the globe. … Continue reading
BOOKS: Stolen Bibles
By Roland Boer Roland Boer is a research fellow at Monash University, and the author of ‘Rescuing the Bible‘. Apart from writing books, he loves to travel by ship when he can and cycle as far and as long as possible. I would like to paint a landscape – the contemporary religious landscape. What does … Continue reading
NEWS: Does God Speak through Sarah Palin?
The Republican vice-presidential candidate has joined the rank of those highly controversial politicians such as George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who firmly believe that God speaks to them. Despite huge efforts in McCain campaign to downplay religious affiliations of Sarah Palin, news has leaked out that McCain’s running-mate has been involved with Wasilla Assembly … Continue reading
NEWS: Conversations With History series: Bart D. Ehrman on the problem of human suffering
The Conversations with History video series (from the University of California, Berkeley) recently published an engaging and broad-ranging interview with controversial biblical scholar, Bart Ehrman (UNC Chapel Hill). Ehrman and host Harry Kreisler discuss Ehrman’s latest book, God’s Problem, and his personal journey from evangelical youth to agnostic scholar. Recorded April 17, 2008 ——- Related … Continue reading