Tag Archives: sightings

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Southern Baptist Decline

The two “big kids on the block” of American denominationalism are making front-page and prime-time news this early summer in ways which crowd out other stories of events and trends in most other groups. Only the Mormons are in competition for the spotlight right now.

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Revelation

Some of the oldest things in Western religion have recently been the subject of new concern and debate. One instance: a book of the Christian Bible, the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John, which is the main review in The New Yorker and the main

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The Politics of Wounding

Sightings recently reported on artist and gay-rights activist David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video “A Fire in My Belly,” which was pulled from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in response to pressure from conservative politicians and religious leaders. It had appeared in the NPG’s “Hide/Seek,” a

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The Emerging Evangelicals

The recent GOP rebound has been regarded by many as a victory belonging to rifle-toting, SUV driving, born-again Christians. But to oversimplify evangelicals in this manner is to ignore a growing rift within their ranks. Few mainstream evangelicals have attempted to link laissez-faire capitalism with

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Christianity Going South

Sightings authors often comment on religion in the United States rather than “the rest of the world,” but through the years have shown regularly how artificial or at least permeable such geographical distinctions are when it comes to religion. Philip Jenkins, Mark Noll, Lamin Sanneh,

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Churches Facing Minister Shortages

A study completed a few ago back by Auburn Theological Seminary in New York study suggests that churches in America may be facing a dramatic shortage of ministers in the coming years. According to the study, less than a third of students now attending seminary

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Fire and Fraud: Touchdown Jesus Meets the Cult of Pain

I recalled C. G. Jung’s definition of “synchronicity” last week when two email messages, each containing a link to a religion news story, arrived to my inbox almost simultaneously. Synchronicity refers to “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.” In other words, synchronicity is about meaningful

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Sexuality

Thirteen months ago Sightings commented on a report by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, and its unsurprising finding that most theological seminaries do nothing to prepare future ministers to deal with sexual issues. They do almost as little on economic issues.

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Biblical Literalism

Lauren Ashley, self-proclaimed Miss Beverly Hills, now rejected by Hills officials, is drawing more media attention as an oracle than anyone else since another would-be Beauty Queen, Carrie Prejean, spoke. Both commented on homosexuality. We news-scanners find issues connected with it to be the most

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Decline in Conservative Churches

Religion-in-public news recently featured a Pew poll that demonstrated how many Americans mix faiths. More on that in some other week. Recent news stories raise a screech question: Will there long be faiths to mix in America? “Faiths” here means bodies of believers, gathered in