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Martin Marty

Canada’s First Nations schools sought to civilize children from indigenous people with their mission to “kill the Indian in the child” – a story so common to many cultures that one can grow numb. […] Read More

“True evangelical hope,” a headline in the current (May 23) Christian Century, drew and held my attention this week. It signaled an interview by Elizabeth Palmer with President Jimmy Carter. They got right to the point of “evangelical” issues and concerns, and the appearance of Carter in the magazine inspired some backtracking and forward-looking on […] Read More

“The ultimate [baby] boomer game today,” writes Timothy Egan, “is competitive longevity.” He was commenting in an op-ed on notable editor/writer Michael Kinsley’s self-documented struggle with Parkinson’s disease. A religious clue to the game showed up in a Washington Post article by Julie Zauzmer: “A Possible Benefit of Going to Church: A 33 Percent Chance […] Read More

When in the 1980s, Scott Appleby and I were first chartered to deal with one particular public expression of religion, the complex of militant fundamentalisms, we were confronted with a global scene for which we were not prepared. We soon found out also that very few others were equipped to monitor and highlight these and […] Read More

No writer about religion has reason to complain that too little has been happening in “the world of religion.” Daily as we do our “sighting,” we find scores of items in international and domestic affairs that deal explicitly with “religion,” by any and almost every definition of that term. The Martys begin each day consuming […] Read More

“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