As Pope Francis appears to be tacitly approving certain liberalizations in the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury canceled the upcoming Lambeth Conference due to strong opposition from African clergy to the Anglican Church’s developing attitudes on gay clergy and bishops, same-sex couples, and generally tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality. Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church seeks to “return Europe to its true self”.
Every presidency creates an institutional culture which trickles down all the way to city halls in the provinces. Obama’s tone-deafness on religious freedom has had palpable consequences across the land.
In mid-September, the German Ethics Council recommended that sexual relations between consenting adult siblings be decriminalized. It is worth noting how all arguments presented in the Council’s carefully worded document are of a completely secular nature.
A group of progressive Methodists, accompanied by similar-minded other Protestants and Catholics, signed an “Open Letter to President Obama” earlier this summer warning against intervention in the Middle East, even as congress and public opinion have been moved toward action. Are they “speaking truth to power”, or just talking to themselves?
What could monastic life today look like? Two attempts at reimagining how it could thrive in the twenty-first century.
There is ample Biblical warrant for noisy worship. And indeed, noisemaking is a feature of many different religious traditions.
There is no moral equivalence between the Islamic State and Putin’s Russia—the first is a genocidal totalitarianism while the second is brutally authoritarian, but not genocidal. But both want to carve out new or enlarged states across internationally recognized borders, both threaten international stability, and both ultimately legitimate themselves in religious terms.
There is an underlying assumption shared by both religious conservatives and their progressive antagonists (they just differ on what to do about it): that modernity means a decline of religion and its concomitant morality. That’s not exactly right, however.
If you want to get businesses to support your cause, appeal to their interests rather than moral principles.
Though the official guardians of religious tradition have typically looked askance at the idea of interreligious dialogue, the practice of coming to terms intellectually with other faiths has a long and rich history.