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Peter Berger
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Religion & Other Curiosities
March 30, 2011

Who are the Copts?

The Copts have featured repeatedly in media reports about Egypt. Before the recent revolutionary events the reports have been about murderous attacks on Coptic churches and homes by Islamic fanatics, unhappily in line with similar attacks on Christians in Iraq, Pakistan and other Muslim-majority countries. There were some uplifting follow-up stories from Egypt—Muslims (including leading […]

March 23, 2011

South Africa: A Fading Rainbow?

I just spent a week in South Africa, attending a fascinating conference of limited “godder” interest. I have been coming to that country for over twenty-five years, watching with empathy its transformation from an odious racist regime to a vibrant democracy. This was a visit after an interval of about three years, and once again […]

March 16, 2011

The Church as a Forum

Bad Boll is a village in Wuerttemberg, in the southwest of Germany. It is located in the so-called Swabian Alps, a landscape of gentle hills and modest forests, as averse to drama as the proverbially sober regional culture. Yet this village has played an anything but undramatic role in the history of German Protestantism. Johann […]

March 9, 2011

May One Pray for Miracles?

On February 18, 2011, The Christian Century carried a short piece (Century Marks section, no permanent link available), possibly for the purpose of light entertainment.  During the apartheid period in South Africa an Anglican convent was visited by a prominent theologian. One of the resident nuns informed him: “You church leaders have a big job […]

March 2, 2011

Our Lady of Kazan and American Pluralism

The icon of Our Lady of Kazan (also known as the Black Virgin of Kazan) is one of the most famous in Russian Orthodoxy.  One of the Virgin’s two feast days coincides with the Day of National Unity. This is appropriate. Kazan occupies an important place in Russian history. Its conquest and destruction in 1552 […]

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