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Sightings

This past summer, as I waited for my plane in Tegucigalpa, I browsed one of the airport’s many gift shops looking for something for my 14-year-old son and found, among the soccer jerseys and dried toads, a bright orange T-shirt emblazoned with a colorful bus and black lettering: “I Survived a Short Term Mission Trip […] Read More

“Sightings” usually sights religious news and trends with a metaphorical “naked eye.” No one needs a telescope or a microscope to spot most of our topics. Snappy headlines, prime-time signals and messages gone viral call attention to them. For a change, we’ll focus on an almost-always-overlooked population and its people of faith: the Romani. I […] Read More

Put “God” in a headline and we can’t help sighting it. Neil Steinberg, columnist in the Chicago Sun-Times did so: “‘Who’s God but us?’ Sister tells it like it is.” My wife, Harriet, the monitor of syntax and scorner of clichés, who reads the papers over coffee across the table from this “Sighter” might well have questioned […] Read More

The state penitentiary in Angola, La., recently made headlines because it hosts an in-house seminary that offers a two-year associate degree in pastoral ministries and a four-year bachelor’s degree in theology. The curriculum includes a variety of courses such as Greek, Hebrew and “sidewalk ministry,” where inmates learn techniques for ministering to fellow inmates. The […] Read More

Earlier this year, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, president of a prominent Indian rationalist organization, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), or Committee for the Eradication of Blind Faith, was killed for his efforts to get an anti-superstition law passed. Like other movements of organized rationalism in India, MANS sought to promote scientific knowledge and combat the […] Read More

Having had enough of talk about Congress and the Affordable Care Act and “default,” let’s look ahead, not back. I propose a glance at the calendar, with Thanksgiving Day several weeks off. It is in the news already because Macy’s stores, one of which is close, across the street from us, have announced that they […] Read More

A New York Times article by Julia Preston, published on April 13, reports a shift of opinions on immigration policy among evangelical Protestants in the United States. In her article, Preston suggests that there is a division between “Evangelical leaders” and the majority of evangelicals, or “the faithful.” “Evangelical leaders” have “broadly united” behind immigration […] Read More

America’s foreign interventions over the last century arise from deeply held religious motivations. The source of these motivations reaches back to the end of the 19th century and the invention of the “social gospel.” A gospel that would redeem not only individual souls but groups and even nations, the social gospel took root in the […] Read More