Nick Spencer begins Atheists: The Origin of the Species with a fairy tale. The story he recounts is an abbreviated version of the tale championed in nineteenth-century Europe whereby progress in scientific understanding banishes ignorance and with it the pseudo-knowledge peddled by priests. In other words: progress followed science, and science displaced religion. The trouble […]
In this remarkable column, a Catholic priest from Maryland interviewed 50 young adults whose names are on the roll of his parish about why they don’t go to church. As he notes with commendable honesty, their answers revealed deep alienation from Catholicism; they are not ignorant about the church’s teaching as much as they […]
I read a lot of things I disagree with, but this post on Richard Dawkins by The Spectator’s Damian Thompson stands out as one of the more brazenly dishonest ones I’ve encountered in a while. Dawkins is currently in hot water with feminists and others for tweeting about rape, and a few people, […]
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert Bellah. Harvard, 2011, 784pp.
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you […]
Warning: Noah spoilers throughout.
Walking out of our screening of Noah last week, one of the first things I said to my colleague was, “I think the moral of the story was that God is evil.” While the movie strenuously, almost ridiculously tries to illustrate how much mankind deserved its fate, their […]
What is the best way of defending the Christian religion today? And do we really need yet another apologia in the form of an intellectual argument? Both Alister McGrath and Benno van den Toren are alert to these questions. Mere Apologetics and Christian Apologetics as Cross-Cultural Dialogue make clear that an intellectual defense of the […]
Ex-evangelical Valerie Tarico wrote a post, republished yesterday by Salon, that argues the internet is killing religion. Tarico isn’t very specific about what kind of religion she’s talking about, she uses “organized religion” and evangelical fundamentalism more or less interchangeably. But the claims are interesting: basically, that the availability of information via the […]
Apropos of our ongoing discussion of what religious political engagement should look like amid the culture wars, Conor Williams has made an effort at describing two different faith interacts with American politics. He calls these “ideological religion,” which would be your extreme religious partisan; and “dispositional religion,” which is theologically engaged but less […]
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