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Peter Berger
Religion & Other Curiosities
November 26, 2010

Defanging the Supernatural

On November 13, 2010, there were two stories about religion, separated by four pages, in The New York Times. The first, filed by Laurie Goodstein (who reports regularly on religion), dealt with a conference of Roman Catholic bishops on procedures of exorcism. The other story, by Mark Oppenheimer (another regular Times reporter), told of an […]

November 17, 2010

Two Lutheran Tribes

In the current issue of The Christian Century there are three items about Lutherans. One is about the economic difficulties incurred by congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) who have left that denomination to protest its decision in August 2009 to allow non-celibate gay clergy and to bless same-sex unions. Thus far […]

November 10, 2010

Bloody Borders

In the book which has by now become an important point of reference, The Clash of Civilizations (1996), the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington developed the thesis that after the demise of the Cold War conflicts would be between civilizations rather than ideologies. The thesis has been hotly discussed ever since, mostly unfavorably. I […]

November 3, 2010

A Centennial not much Noticed

I don’t know what occurs to the average newspaper reader if one observes that 2010 marks a centennial. Whatever happened in 1910? Some international incident anticipating World War I? A revolution in China? As I’ve just discovered, the first congress of German sociologists? Hardly. But among Evangelicals the centenary significance is clear: A hundred years […]

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