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Author Martin Marty (The Martin Mary Center: Sightings)

“Trending Now…” is a familiar category in pop culture. It usually refers to fashions of this season replacing those of last season, or changes in products for musical or film audiences new since last year’s awards season. In the religious world, some “trending now” is that-kind-of trendy, but, in general, historians of religion deal with […] Read More

The Jumbotron at Soldier Field, visible from our condo window, offers a colorful set of images on Sundays when the Chicago Bears are at home. It displays more liturgical colors than can the devotees of other religions still trying to attract worshippers on what Christians used to call “the Lord’s Day.” In this scandal-filled football […] Read More

A mission of Sightings and the special mission assigned me here is to relate faith and faiths, as mediated by media, to public life. My sub-mission is to keep suggesting that many, if not most religious “happenings” occur away from polls, “pols” and policies, though we respect and, of course, notice and report on them. […] Read More

A citizen can look in any direction on almost any day and find confirmation of two observations that have informed many of us who chronicle and comment on inter-group conflicts. One is Else Frenkel-Brunswick’s comment on the ethnocentric hater: “Even his hate is mobile and can be directed from one object to another.” The other […] Read More

“Bowling Alone” and “American Grace” famously brought author Robert Putnam and wide readerships together. Social scientists of some sorts often alienate audiences and readerships when they choose to speak or write in dense and turgid phrases. But perceptive and phrase-making Putnam can hold his own with eloquent peers when gathering resources, summoning data or framing […] Read More